Friday, April 29, 2005

Unknown on the Walk of Fame: Vol. A, Part 2

This is a continuation of this article.

We continue now, looking at the people that make up the over 2000 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in fabulous Hollywood, California. Many of the stars are no longer well remembered. I am trying to change that by taking a look at each of these stars and seeing why they are on the Walk in the first place.

Eddie Albert TV

A longtime TV star, Eddie actually appeared in a special TV program in 1936! This was years before television was introduced to the public.
Frank Albertson MP

He was the guy who DIDN'T marry Donna Reed in "It's a Wonderful Life". He also appeared in over 100 films.
Jack Albertson TV

Jack appeared in many TV shows and won the 1965 Tony Award as Best Supporting Actor for "The Subject Was Roses". He then won an Oscar when he recreated that role for the movie screen three years later.
Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin TV

Buzz is an astronaut with the coolest nickname in NASA history. Buzz is part of a special "star" at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. It is round, rather than star shaped.
He shares the round star with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins to commemorate the Apollo XI moon landing.
Perhaps it is round because the moon is round.
Ben Alexander TV

Ben is best known for his work on Dragnet.
Muhammad Ali LT

Ali is certainly an interesting choice for the Walk. I don't know why he did not get it in TV or radio, because I can't imagine he did a lot of live performances (Sports don't count according to the Walk of Fame rules.) His star is different from all the others in that it is actually NOT part of the sidewalk; rather it is inside the Kodak Theater Lobby. Ali was given the star as part of a promotional blitz for the 2001 film, Ali.
Debbie Allen TV

Star of TV's "Fame".
Fred Allen Radio
Fred Allen TV

Legendary comedian, Fred was the host of "Texaco Star Theater" and has been inducted to the Radio Hall of Fame.
Gracie Allen TV

Wife of George Burns, Gracie played the ditsy blonde to George's strait man.
Rex Allen MP

Legendary western star also appeared on the Disneyland TV program.
Steve Allen TV
Steve Allen Radio

Comedian who wrote over 7,400 songs.
Tim Allen TV

Santa Claus.
Kirstie Alley MP

Oddly, this "Cheers" star has a star for movies! She has appeared in several awful films such as Madhouse and several talking baby films.
Fran Allison TV

The hostess of TV's Kukla, Fran and Ollie.
June Allyson MP

Pretty star of over 50 films starting in the 1930s. In 1985 she became a spokesperson for Depends Undergarments. Seeing a former silver screen beauty tell us "old people can now wet their pants with confidence" terrified a nation.
Herb Alpert Rec

One of the most successful instrumental performers in pop music history.
Don Alvarado MP

Starred in many films and television programs from the 1930s to the 1950. He got his name from a street in Hollywood. Don Street. I mean Alvarado street.
Don Ameche TV
Don Ameche Radio

Popular actor in the 30s and 40s, had a comeback in the 1980s playing old men in Cocoon and Folks. In 1939 he portrayed Alexander Graham Bell, leading people to nickname the telephone "The Don Ameche".
Adrienne Ames MP

Successful actress in the 1930s and 40s. She appeared in several films with the word "hell" in the title including: From Hell to Heaven (1933), Guilty as Hell (1932) and Merrily We Go to Hell (1932).
Morey Amsterdam Radio

Comedian and host of many radio programs. At one point he starred in three daily shows at the same time.
Bronco Anderson MP

Movie cowboy who appeared in and directed hundreds of western shorts. He played Bronco Billy in most of them.
Leroy Anderson Rec

Composer of the instrumental version of "Sleigh Ride" that features the sounds of horses at the end. I hear it every Christmas. I am sure you do, too.
Mirian Anderson Rec

Her name is actually spelled Marian Anderson. The official Walk of Fame site has it spelled wrong, but fear not – the “star” has the correct spelling on it. Famed opera singer also honored by the United States Postal Service in the Black Heritage Stamp Series.
Mary Anderson MP

Famous for her roles in Gone With the Wind and Peyton Place. Is NOT the same Mary Anderson that invented the windshield wiper.
Julie Andrews MP

Star of Mary Poppins and Sound of Music.
Heather Angel MP

Star of over 50 films including the "Bulldog Drummond" films that I assume star a talking bulldog who adopt two wisecracking African American kids from the ghetto.
Paul Anka Rec

A fifties teen idol, Anka stood out because he was a great songwriter.
Michael Ansara TV

He played Kang on Star Trek.
Ray Anthony Rec

A very successful big band leader.
Roscoe Arbuckle MP

More famous under the name Fatty Arbuckle, this comedian was tried for a murder he most likely did not commit. It ruined his career.
Army Archerd TV

TV host and commentator. Appeared in The Devil and Max Devlin as himself.

WOW! We STILL aren't through the "A"s! To be continued and continued.

Until then, go to this website and put your own name on a star for free.

Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair sits in the Smithsonian Institution along with only two other arcade games: Pong and Pac-Man.

Everybody knows about Pong. Pong was considered to be the first video game. It was a simple paddle game that resembled ping pong. Pac-man was released just a few years later, but was light years ahead of Pong in technology. It is also, most likely, the most popular title in video game history.

Dragon's Lair may not be as famous as the other two, but it is certainly as important. Released in 1983, the game actually played liked an interactive movie, sorta like Mr. Payback.

It was a laser disc player inside a video game cabinet. As the film played, the user would get to certain moments where they could choose what direction Dirk the Daring moved. Choose right and he advances, choose wrong and he dies.

The video in Dragon's Lair was all animated by the legendary Don Bluth. Don Bluth is known for his work on a number of films including An American Tail and because his name is funny.

Say Don Bluth five times fast. Doesn't it sound like you are either someone born without a tongue or Shaquille O'Neal?

The animation was great, beautiful visuals and Dirk the Daring was a good hero. The story was that he was trying to rescue to the beautiful Princess Daphne from Singe the Dragon in a haunted castle.

Before we go any further, let me restate that Daphne was BEAUTIFUL. Really, really hot. She was so hot, that just the tease of getting to see her on the screen made men jam quarter after quarter into the machine. It may be the #1 reason for the success of the game.

The #2 reason for the game's success was idiots who thought the title was Dragon's LIAR. You would often hear them shout at the machine "You lyin' piece of dragon trash. I'm gonna smack you with a shovel. We don't take kindly to liars in these here parts."

Years later a few of these players started a group called "Dragon's Lair Veteran's for Truth".

Along the way he has to face the Lava Monsters, The Lizard King, The Grim Reaper, The Black Knight and more.

A joystick is used to choose Dirk's direction and the button is used to have Dirk swing his sword. Wrong moves cause death to Dirk (usually turning him into a skeleton), but the right decisions move him forward.

After a long, and VERY difficult, series of challenges Dirk gets to the Dragon's Lair where he finds Daphne trapped in a bubble.

At this point users start to expect wacky comedy hijinks involving a pretty girl with a horrible disease that keeps her trapped in a bubble. People expect it to be like that funny like that Disney comedy "Bubble Boy", but instead it's scary like that John Travolta film where he was trapped in a bubble, "Pulp Fiction".

To get Daphne out of the bubble Dirk must kill Singe. If he does, he frees Daphne from the bubble and she jumps into his arms and kisses him. THE END.

If you know all of the correct moves the game takes about 12 minutes to play.

Many attempts have been made over the years to make Dragon's Lair a home game for every system from Gameboy to the PC. Because of the unique game play the game never really translated well.

A few years ago, however, the game was released on DVD. Players used their remotes (or if you have a Playstation 2, your joystick) to operate the game.

The team that made Dragon's Lair had several follow up games, including Space Ace and Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jack and Walter


Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were not a gay couple. I know, it's hard to believe, but it’s true. They were just friends. If they were gay, I am guessing that Lemmon would be the "female" of the relationship.

Anyway, what they did (or didn't do) in the privacy of their own tastefully decorated mansions is nobody’s business.

What they did on the movie screen was a different story.

They collaborated, A LOT. For a while in the 1990s they were like an older version of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (by the way I think Haim is the "Jack Lemmon" of that relationship.)

Together they collaborated on 14 films. I know, film historians only count nine of their collaborations as "true collaborations" but we hate film historians.

Here are some "film historian" jokes:

Q: What do you call one film historian at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A good start.

Q: What do you call ten film historians at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A better start.

Q: What do you call two Coreys at the bottom of the ocean?
A: Pollution.

Oh man that was fun.

Let's take a look at the Jack and Walter flicks:

Fortune Cookie, The (1966): A Billy Wilder comedy starring Matthau and Lemmon as Harry Hinckle (Lemmon) a sports cameraman who was injured filming a football game, and Willie Gingrick (Matthau), the brother in law and lawyer who convinces Harry to fake an injury for the insurance money.
During the making of the film Matthau had a heart attack and then lost 30 lbs. Wouldn't it have been funny if Lemmon had convinced him to fake another heart attack so he could get insurance money? Wouldn't it also be funny if at the premiere ushers handed out fortune cookies to the guest, only instead of fortunes, the paper inside the cookie just said "HELP! I am being held hostage in a Chinese bakery!"

Odd Couple, The (1968): The quintessential Matthau/Lemmon film, this starred the two as incompatible roommates. The movie was later made into a successful TV show. I wish they had done the same thing with Fortune Cookie. Then every week Jack Lemon could fake an injury. It would be like watching hockey's Alexander Ovechkin.*

The "Obscure Reference of the Day" has been brought to you by Taco Bell who remind you to "Think outside the bun" because at Taco Bell the only buns you will see is on that cute girl that works the drive thru window.

Kotch (1971): Lemmon directed this film starring Matthau. It tells the story of Mayor Kotch and his addiction to sweaters (this is a guess, I am too lazy to research it.)
The IMDB lists Lemmon as playing an uncredited role as a "Sleeping bus passenger". I think this is poetic because, when it comes right down to it, aren't we all just sleeping passengers on the great big bus we call the Earth?
I think I should stop sniffing my glue stick.

Front Page, The (1974): The duo starred in this remake of His Girl Friday. The tagline for this film was "It's the hottest story since the Chicago Fire... And they're sitting on it." For some reason back in 1974 it seemed like a good idea to promote this film by telling people that Matthau and Lemmon had hot booties.

The Gentleman Tramp (1975): They worked as narrators on this documentary about Charlie Chaplin.

Buddy Buddy (1981): This was a bizarre film in which Matthau plays a hit man. On his way to kill a mobster he runs into a depressed man played by Lemon. Lemon's character is depressed because his wife left him for the head of a sex clinic. The hit man stops the depressed guy from committing suicide and they become friends just like Regis and Kelly.

JFK (1991): Both Lemmon and Matthau make cameos in one of Oliver Stone's first cinematic cries for help. Sadly neither helped him and he went insane sometime in the late 1990s.

Chaplin (1992): Archive footage of an Academy Award ceremony featuring both Lemmon and Matthau is played in this film. It is oddly enough, their second Chaplin based film.

Grumpy Old Men (1993): After kind of appearing in JFK and Chaplin the duo takes the screen together in a film that proved that old guys can swear continuously for 103 minutes.

Grass Harp, The (1995): In this star studded film version of a Truman Capote novel, Matthau plays Judge Charlie Cool. Lemmon plays Morris Ritz, a name that under other circumstances would have seemed silly. Nothing is silly when Judge Charlie Cool is around.

Grumpier Old Men (1995): Realizing that there were over 100 verbs that could be added to the "F" word, both Lemmon and Matthau teamed up for this sequel. The film runs two minutes shorter than the first but contains 10 more unflattering words for female genitalia.

Out to Sea (1997) They dance on a boat.

Odd Couple II, The (1998) The "Odd Couple" goes on a road trip because Felix's daughter is marrying Oscar's son. It was the last film they shot together.

Matthau died in July of 2000, almost one year (to the day) later Jack Lemon was dead. They left an amazing cinematic legacy starring in a combined 154 films.

Kid Stays In the Picture, The (2002): Once again archived footage of the two actors was incorporated into a film and shown in theaters, leaving the Coreys even bigger shoes to fill.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Unknown on the Walk of Fame: Vol. A, Part 1

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most popular attractions in Southern California. It is most likely the most photographed sidewalk in the world.

The Walk of Fame is a series of bronze plaques imbedded in pink and black squares that run across Hollywood Blvd. (from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue) and on Vine Street (from Yucca Street to Sunset Boulevard.)

The stars on the Walk honor not just movie stars, but radio, TV, & theater performers, directors, singers, magicians, and just about anyone remotely connected to Hollywood.

The stars are given in five categories:
Motion Pictures
Television
Recording (singers, songwriters, etc.)
Radio
Live theater

The only person to receive a star in each of the five categories was singing-cowboy Gene Autry.

The Walk started in 1960, and since then, over 2,000 stars have been added. Contrary to popular assumption, not all the stars are those of superstars. Many of them are of people that you have never heard of. Today we take a look at some of those with the letter “A” and see who they were:

Bud Abbott Radio
Bud Abbott TV
Bud Abbott MP

One half of the famous duo Abbott and Costello. I don't remember which half he was.
Dear Abby Radio
Paula Abdul Rec

Here are the famous columnist (notice her star is not under her real name) and Paula Abdul, one time wife of Emilio Estevez.
Harry Ackerman TV

Harry Ackerman is a name you probably don't recognize. He was the Executive Producer of many TV shows including "Leave it to Beaver".
Art Acord MP

Art Acord starred in over 100 films, but don't feel too bad if you never heard of him. All of his films were made prior to 1930.
He was born in 1890 in Oklahoma, back when it was still Indian Territory. He was a western star and had the nickname "The Cowpuncher King".
He died in Mexico of cyanide poisoning, an apparent suicide. Friends of Acord, however, believe that he was murdered for having an affair with the wife of a Mexican politician.
Many of his films have been lost.
Roy Acuff Rec

Roy was a country music pioneer.
St. John Adela MP

This name doesn't belong here alphabetically, but since I am going directly off the list on the Walk of Fame website, I will keep it here.
This was a woman named Adela St. John (not the other way around) who contributed to the screenplays of "A Star is Born" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
Renee Adoree MP

Renee starred in over forty films including "Monte Cristo" in 1921. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 35.
Antonio Aguilar Rec

A famous singer (and actor) in Mexico. He received his star in 2001.
Brian Aherene TV

Despite getting a star for TV, Aherene was well known to movie audiences as well. He appeared in over 100 movies and TV shows including "A Night To Remember" and "Rawhide".
Philip Ahn MP

A Korean born actor, Ahn starred in over 100 films. He was best known for his portrayal of Master Kan in the TV series "Kung Fu".
St. John Al MP

Another person that is out of alphabetical order, his name is Al St. John. I am unsure why no one at the Walk of Fame website noticed that they had people with the first name SAINT on the Walk! Al was a silent film comic and starred in a bunch of "talkie" westerns.
Alabama Rec

Famed country music band.
Licia Albanese Rec

Licia is an Italian born singer, best known for her recording of "Madam Butterfly".

As you can see, we aren't even though the A's and we are awash in names of forgotten stars. To be continued.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Dan and Dave

Let me start this with an admission.

Until 5 minutes ago I couldn't spell "Reebok". To be even more honest, I will probably forget it again in my sleep tonight. Tomorrow morning, I will most likely return to the blissful ignorance I awoke with today.

Reebok. I tried Rebocx, Reebox and Reboxx. I am not sure I have ever heard anyone say Reebok, actually. I think I always hear people say Reeboks. The whole plural thing threw me off.

To help me, and you (if you need help) remember the correct spelling, I have found this little system.

HAVE EACH LETTER OF THE WORD STAND FOR ANOTHER WORD.

At first glance this sounded like profoundly stupid advice. I am having trouble remembering ONE word, why would adding an extra SIX make it easier. Still, If I didn't try new things every once in a while, I would not know the joy of listening to a Justin Timberlake while roller-skating in my bathtub.

Let us try:

REEBOK

R=Remember
E=Eat
E=Everything
B=Because
O=Of
K=Karl

Remember, eat everything because of Karl. Sure, it makes no sense, but perhaps it can help me remember.

Maybe I could remember by adding a little back story to the phrase "Remember, eat everything because of Karl":

THE SAGA OF KARL
(Written by Guy Hutchinson. Based in part on the Reebok corporation.)
Karl was a jerk.
He was the guy who would come to your house and use the last piece of toilet paper and then not replace the roll with a new one.

He would double park, even in the fullest of parking lots.

If you offered him a piece of gum, he would take the whole pack.

Worst of all, Karl ate all the leftovers in the fridge.

He didn't care whose house or even WHO'S FRIDGE. Once he even ate some leftover crumbs that were in William "The Fridge" Perry's chest hair.

One day Karl came to Fred Flintstones house. Fred had a leftover bronto rib in the fridge and a slice of dinoberry pie. Karl ate it. Fred was sad, he had wanted to eat that stuff himself.

So Fred did two things. First, he promised himself that, from that day on, he would always say "Remember, eat everything because of Karl". He would tell this to anyone that would listen.

Second, after work the next day he would wait in the bushes by Karl’s house. When Karl came home he would bludgeon him to death with a shovel.

William Perry still mourns.

THE END

So, perhaps, that stupid story will help us all remember not to eat other people's food. Oh wait, that's not right. What was that supposed to help us remember?

I'm sure it will come to me later.

Anyway, back in 1992 America had two great decathletes, Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson. I'm not sure what a decathlete is, but I am willing to bet it is BETTER than just an athlete.

Dan and Dave had a lot going for them as they headed to the Olympics in Barcelona. They were photogenic, co-favorites to win the gold and they were FREAKIN' DECATHLETES!!!

So, the sneaker company Reeboxx came up with a brilliant idea, they would make a series of ads highlighting both athletes and their sneakers.

The ads showed Dan and Dave's friends and family, each saying who they thought would win. The ads succeeded in generating tremendous buzz for the two, who previously were unknown outside of track and field circles. The ads ran for 8 months leading up to the U.S. Olympic Trials. All eyes were on Dan and Dave and everyone had a favorite.

Picking a favorite was not easy, however, since the two were almost evenly matched. They had competed against each other in three competitions, where Dave held a three-to-two lead over Dan. Still, Dan had a higher "best score" in the event.

Five weeks before the Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Trials were held. In a HUGE upset, Dan flubbed the pole vault and five failed to qualify. That was it, Dan packed his bags and went home to watch Dave win the gold.

Rebocks changed the marketing campaign. In the new ads, rather than hold his head in shame, Dan emerged as Dave's biggest cheerleader - cheering his former rival to a gold medal.

Then Dave finished third.

THIRD! Not first, not second... THIRD!!!!

It was actually a successful campaign for Reebox as they sold a lot of sneakers and generated a huge amount of hype.

Dan and Dave have fallen into obscurity. In fact, if you look on the web for info on "Dan and Dave" you will more likely find stuff about Dan and Dave the Magicians, Dan and Dave's Pizza and Grinders and Dan Rather crying on Dave Letterman's show.

I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Friday, April 22, 2005

99 Luftballoons

In 1984 a German new-wave band, led by singer Gabrielle "Nena" Kerner released a beautiful song about the end of the world. The song was called 99 Luftballoons and it was an international hit.

The song was a bit bizarre even for a year that featured "Where's The Beef", Miami Vice and the first robot related death in the United States.

The song told the story of some balloons that caused a nuclear war. Eventually the song made its way to the U.S. and it was decided to rewrite the lyrics in English.

Here they are:

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
Til one by one, they were gone
Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message, something's out there
Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky as 99 red balloons go by

99 Decision street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super flurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by

99 knights of the air
Ride super high tech jet fighters
Everyone's a super hero Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify, and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 dreams I have had In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you, and let it go

The song is cute and bouncy and mentions Captain Kirk, what could be better?

The German version, perhaps?

When the song debuted in the U.S. both versions were played on the radio, but the German version was played far more often. Today, 80s stations seem to play the English version far more often. I like ending sentences with the words "far more often". I should do it far more often.

If you want to read the lyrics click here. If you don't know German, they will mean nothing to you.

I threw the German language version into a translator and what I got back made very little sense. Take a look:

You have something time for me
then sing I a song for you
from 99 ballons
on its way to the horizon think
you degrees ' of me
then perhaps sing I a song for you
from 99 ballons
and that sowas of sowas

Next time you meet someone German, tell them they are the "sowas of sowas" see if you get punched in the mouth. If not, ask them what it means.
comes one regarded
99 ballons on its way to the horizon
as uFOs from the universe
therefore sent a general a flier relay
afterwards alarm to give
if it were like that thereby were
there on the horizon
only 99 ballons
99 jet military planes
of everyone was not a large krieger
held themselves for Captain Kirk

GERMAN GUY: Are you a large krieger?
OTHER GERMAN GUY: No, I'm holding myself for Captain Kirk.
GERMAN GUY: Is he the one with the pointy ears?
OTHER GERMAN GUY: You are such a sowa.
gave large fireworks the neighbours
anything gerafft and felt thereby shot
equivalent put on one on the horizon
on 99 ballons
99 war Ministers match
and gasoline can

99 War Ministers, 99 ballons, a match and a gasoline can walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey! Is this some kind of a joke?"
regarded themselves as smart people
Witterten already fat booty scoring:
War and it wanted power man,

NOW WE ARE TALKING! We have fat booty scoring AND my favorite superhero, Powerman!
who would have that meant that
it once so far comes ways
99 ballons 99 years war
did not leave no place for winner
war Minister gives it any longer
and also no nozzle fliers today

No nozzle fliers? Damn, I had such a craving for a nozzle flier.
pull I mean for rounds
See the world in rubble to be appropriate
have ' nen ballon found
think ' of you and let ' it fly

There it is, in English, sorta.

Sadly, translation sites aren't perfect as evidenced here, here and just to see if you are clicking on the links: here.

Luckily I found someone that had done a better translation here.

Here are THOSE lyrics:
If you have some time for me
Then I'll sing a song for you
About 99 balloons
On their way to the horizon
Perhaps you think of me a bit
Then I'll sing a song for you
About 99 balloons
And that something (like the war) comes from such a thing (the balloons)

You'll notice some major changes right off the bat. See, in order to make the English version rhyme some liberties had to be taken. This verse mentions nothing of buying the balloons at a "little toy shop" and there are no "bugs in the software" it sounds much sweeter than then the opening of the English version.
99 balloons
On their way to the horizon
Seemed like UFOs from space
So a general sent
A flying squad out there
To raise the alarm if it was true
Yet there on the horizon were
Only 99 balloons

The change of "summer sky" to "on the horizon" seems like a little one, but it's not. See, Nena is really cute and it is much more fun to think of her blowing up balloons in a skimpy summer outfit rather than a winter coat.
99 jet hunters
Each one was a great warrior
Thought that they were Captain Kirk
There were great fireworks
The neighbors didn't understand anything
And felt immediately felt provoked
Yet there they shot on the horizon
At 99 balloons

So, Kirk remains. That is the important part.

We don't hear the address "99 Decision Street" in this. Too bad. I always wanted to live there. It was near Wishy-Washy Lane and That-Damn-Woman-Can'T-Make-Up-Her-Freakin'-Mind Boulevard.
99 war ministers
Matches and petrol cans
Thought that they were clever people
Already smelled greasy loot

I am a little grossed out by "greasy loot". I really prefer "fat booty".
Shouted: War, and wanted power
Man, who would have thought
That one day it would come to this
Because of 99 balloons

99 years of war
Don't leave a place for victors
There are no ministers any more
No jet engines either
Today I'm doing my rounds
Seeing the world lying in ruins
Found a balloon
Think of you and let it fly

Some more differences; and some lines that are almost identical as the song comes to a close.

Nena next issued an English-language album called "It's All in the Game". The album was not a hit and in a couple years the band broke up. Still, time can never deflate the luftballoon in our hearts.

Now I am off, to score some FAT BOOTY!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Grauman's Chinese Theater: Weirdoes in Costumes

Paris has the Eiffel Tower, San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, and Hollywood has the Chinese Theater.

It is probably the finest movie palace on earth and definitely the most famous. I know, I know I covered this all before here, but there are some details that I didn't get into. Today it's the "Weirdoes in Costumes".

The Chinese Theater is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. As a matter of fact, in Southern California, only Disneyland rivals it in popularity.

There is only one problem. People don't know what to do when they get there.

Picture this: you are some random guy. Let’s call you Joe. No wait, lets go with Ralph. Oh, even better RALF. With the "f" at the end. Yeah, I like that.

You are Ralf. You have three kids and a wife who isn't aging well. You scrape together $1100 out of your meager income and make the car trip from Tempe, Arizona to fabulous Hollywood, California. You arrive on Hollywood Blvd. and park on the street half a block from the Chinese Theater.

You have arrived.

But, you have two problems! First, how can you get your kids to appreciate the Chinese Theater? Second, your wife was yelling at the kids on the way and turned around to yell at them but got stuck between the headrest and the ceiling and is now stuck in the car facing backwards kneeling on the seat with her butt against the dashboard.

What do you do?

As for the wife, Ralf, I recommend that you put a blanket over her and put up a "no radio in car" sign to keep thugs away. As for the kids... hmmmm that is an interesting problem.

What should Ralf do?

This is a moronic question since OBVIOUSLY it has SOMETHING to do with "Weirdoes in Costumes" so let me move on.

First of all, a quick explanation of the theater is in order. The theater has over 200 hundred hand prints, foot prints and autographs of movie stars. Everyone from R2D2 to John Wayne is out there. The theater itself is a marvel full of ornate designs and wonderful little touches.

Inside plays the hottest film of the week on one of the biggest screens anywhere. They also offer tours that give you a great historical perspective on the theater.

It is a movie lover's dream.

But, what about the kids? To them it's a weird building full of handprints of people they never heard of that's most likely showing an R rated film that they can't watch.

To accommodate the kids, the theater has set up booths where they can make a "handprint" souvenir to take home. But some enterprising people have outdone them.

A group of costumed freelancers stand outside the theater everyday. The costumes range from "absurd" to "mainstream" and "theme park quality" to "Halloween store rejects" but they all have one thing in common. They charge you to take a photo with them.

The fee isn't much, usually $5, but it could add up quickly. The kids love it, and often these guys have lines longer than (NOTE TO SELF: Think of amusing "line" comparison and insert it here.)

Let's take a look.


Here's Captain America standing next to 'sexy lady cop'. For some reason he is holding Spider-man's mask. I don't know what is being implied here, but I don't like it.

You notice that they tend to line up on the sidewalk in front of the theater rather than on the handprints themselves. That must be a rule of the theater.


Next it's the King! This Elvis impersonator is probably the best of the bunch. I must say, in person he looks more like Jim Belushi than Elvis, but there probably isn't much call for a Belushi impersonator. He has a small speaker and a microphone and he sings and talks to people as they pass. He puts on a good show and gets a lot of $5's. Good for him.


Captain America has moved his attention from 'mocking Spider-man' to 'looking woefully at the horizon'. Fighting crime is a lonely job.
Sexy lady cop wasn't doing well; she was not pulling in the clients. I think she had one of those costumes that just doesn't have a target audience. The kids aren’t interested and Dad isn’t allowed to be.
Sure single men oogle her, but no one wants to pay $5 for the joy of standing next to her. Too bad.
Also, her crime fighting skills seem to be lacking. Both she and the Captain stand idly by as the Evil Queen that poisoned Snow White, Maleficent, stands on the sidewalk.
Maleficent seems to have mellowed, however, she is waving happily to everyone she sees.
She looks just like my friend's crazy aunt. Hi Marge!

This was hands down the most popular costume there, for obvious reasons. But there was one MAJOR problem. The guy was TALL, REALLY TALL! Too tall to be Mickey Mouse. He towered over everyone including the gentleman walking by in the photo. I love that guys look; it says "I don't have time for you today, giant mouse!"

This dude was just strange. I don't know who he was trying to be, but he was giving the "hard sell" to everyone that walked by. The girl on the left is thinking "Do I really need a photo with... uh... what is he supposed to be? A gay pirate, a gay Zorro or just an annoying gay guy?" Sexy lady cop stands alone.

These are just a sample of the characters standing outside on a weekday afternoon last fall. Every day is a little different. Marilyn Monroe is usually there, in fact, once I saw 2 Marilyns at the same time. Creepy Homer Simpson is also a staple as is Ogre Fiona from Shrek.

Most make me smile, but some make me sad. I just about tear up whenever a picture a young lady looking in the mirror in the morning saying "Yeah, I look like the female ogre from Shrek."

I also get sad thinking about Ralf's wife.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Youppi!

When the Montreal Expos announced they would be moving to Washington D.C. at the end of the 2004 season few people were sad. Montreal wasn't exactly a great baseball town. Few fans showed up to the games and even fewer cheered for the team.

There was, however, one fan that was very sad.

Youppi!. That wasn't an exclamation point placed there for emphasis; it is part of his name.

Youppi! is grossly overweight, with a pointy head and a giant nose and beard. He is orange and spent most home games dancing and cheering for his team, the Expos.

Youppi! had been the Expos mascot since he joined the team on their tenth anniversary.

You know; since we are being nostalgic, let’s take a quick look at the history of the Expos:

The Montréal Expos joined MLB's National League in 1969, along with the San Diego Padres. This gave them a special bond with the Padres. Whenever one player from the Expos would see one from the San Diego club they would say "What's up Padre?" Margaritas and a night of Scrabble and thumb wrestling would usually follow.

The Expos were named for Expo 67, the Montréal world's fair. The Expos had ten straight losing seasons after they debuted in Montréal's Jarry Park. In 1979 they posted their first winning record, this year also marked the debut of Youppi!. This cannot be just a coincidence. It was Youppi!'s cheers that carried the team.

However, in the mid 1980s even Youppi! could not help the team, as they played mediocre at best. Still, they had Youppi! and a manager named Buck Rodgers.

Still, Buck never drew a laser gun and shot at opposing pitchers. Shame on you, Buck, Youppi! was counting on you.

At some point the Expos moved to Olympic Stadium and they had a lot of blue and red in their uniforms. They also had a guy who had an afro that stuck out on all sides of his baseball hat. Plus, they had an outfielder who used to chew tobacco. It's all a little fuzzy to me, so don't expect accuracy.

Speaking of "fuzzy", Youppi! is one of three mascots on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The others are the Phillie Phanatic of Philadelphia and the Famous Chicken from San Diego.

On Valentines Day 2002 there was a 30-0 vote that led to the Expos moving to Washington. Youppi! was not allowed to vote. It was very un-American... then again, he is Canadian.

The next year the team played 22 of its home games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. No one in Montréal noticed.

No one, that is, except Youppi!. Then again, maybe he traveled to Puerto Rico with the team and was known as ¡El Youppi!. I have no idea.

Incidentally, the name Youppi! is actually French. It is the word for "Yippee". This meant that when Youppi! went to see Star Wars The Phantom Menace, he kept turning around when Anakin said "Youppi!". At first he thought someone was calling his name, then he realized it was just bad screenwriting.

When the Expos moved the orange, hairy giant was replaced by Screech. Yes, the nerd from "Saved By The Bell". Oh wait, I read that wrong, NOT the nerd from "Saved By The Bell", that was Mario Lopez.

This Screech is a baby eagle. He may do the same things Youppi! did, like dance on the dugout and hug fans, but he is no Youppi!.

Youppi! has a distinguished place in baseball history. He is the first mascot to be thrown out of a game. On August 23, 1989, he was tossed out during the 11th inning because of a complaint from Los Angeles Dodgers manager, and mascot hater, Tommy Lasorda.

Before Youppi!, the team had a different mascot that may have been even stranger. It was a baseball player with a baseball for a head. Many other teams have similar mascots, most notably Mr. Met, the New York Mets mascot.

The Expos baseball headed mascot had one special trait, antenna sticking out of his head.

He scared kids, and let’s face it, why would a baseball be a fan of baseball? That is like deer cheering for hunters or a spouse cheering for spousal abuse.

So, the Expos contacted Jim Henson who designed Youppi!. The first costume was very difficult to see out of and the wearer used to have Youppi! smack himself on the nose in order to adjust the costume head. This became Youppi!'s trademark from then on. Fans loved it and the children emulated it.

This is why Montréal leads the world in self inflicted, pediatric nasal trauma.

What is next for Youppi!? It's not clear. The mascot was sold before the start of the season, but the sale was held up for trademark issues. It is said that there are many potential new homes for Youppi! including a Canadian drug company and a hockey team.

If none of that works out, Youppi!, you are welcome here. You can cheer me on as I make typos and write bad puns.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It's A Joke, Son!

Dollar DVDs rock! I bet you have seen them by now, lining the shelves of dollar stores, Wal-Marts and gas stations.

I even saw a dollar store advertise "THREE DOLLAR NIGHT AT THE MOVIES", a deal that gives you a bottle of grape Shasta, a bag of American Pride popcorn and the public domain movie of your choice.

It's really no wonder that the dollar DVDs have taken off so well. For starters, unlike VHS tape that needs to be recorded, DVDs are pressed. This way, the manufacturer can produce a lot more DVDs for a lot less money than VHS. Couple that with the effort of major retailers to convince consumers that life is not worth living unless you own a bookcase full of DVDs and you can understand why dollar DVDs are such a great deal.

For 10 bucks at a dollar store you get more than just two fists full of forgotten, black and white films; you get acceptance in the community.

The other day I stopped by target to pick up some essentials:

A gallon of milk
A T-shirt featuring Homer Simpson and the words "Chick Magnet"
The new Lindsay Lohan CD
and
A lamp shaped like a tiki god

A few days later I went back and bought a dollar DVD.

"It's A Joke, Son!" was the name of the film. As a bonus, the DVD had an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies" where Jethro dresses in drag as "Jethrene" and a cartoon about mice that went to school.

It is almost impossible to imagine that "It's A Joke, Son!" could be the highlight of the DVD, but it was.

The movie starred Kenny Delmar who, at the time, was a big radio star. Delmar appeared on "The Fred Allen Show" as part of "Allen's Alley". I know this means nothing to anyone young enough to want to use a computer, but this was a very popular show. Delmar was the announcer and he also played a few characters on the show.

His most famous character was Senator Beauregard Claghorn. Senator Claghorn was a man who loved the South so blindly that he thought North Carolina should be called Upper South Carolina. He was a blustery loudmouth and his catch phrase was "It's A Joke, Son!”

The character of Senator Claghorn has almost completely faded away in the nearly sixty years since this film. Except for one very famous impersonation of Senator Claghorn that EVERYONE is familiar with today.

Foghorn Leghorn. That's right; the comic rooster from the Looney Toons series was based on the Senator. Even the name 'Foghorn Leghorn' is a play on the name 'Senator Cleghorn'.

Foghorn also took many of the Senator's favorite lines including "It's A Joke, Son!" and brought them into the barnyard. So, if you have heard Foghorn Leghorn, you know EXACTLY how Cleghorn sounded.

This film was the first and only big screen appearance of Senator Cleghorn. If you ever hear someone complaining about the latest TV show or video game turned into a movie, tell them about how radio shows used to be made into movies! Then stand next to them and tap them on the shoulder farthest from you. Then they will turn around and see NO ONE. It's a riot!

Many radio shows like "East Side Kids" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" fared better as movies than Cleghorn. They had sequels, but Cleghorn was retired and Kenny Delmar went on to a successful career doing voices for cartoons (Underdog, Go-Go Gopher).

Many believe that the reason the film didn't strike a cord with the audience was the fact the Foghorn Leghorn had debuted in theaters A YEAR EARLIER. That's right; Foghorn had ALREADY ripped off his shtick when he was at the top of his game.

All of this not withstanding, the film is actually a whole lot of fun. The film opens with Cleghorn, not yet a Senator, berating a shopkeeper for selling "northern" apples. Delmar looks a little like French Stewart; he's a young man playing a character older than him. In fact, the woman playing his wife is a decade older than him and his on screen daughter was just 15 years younger than him.

Delmar also looks different than the Cleghorn sounds. The voice makes me picture a much fatter, balder man. Still, Cleghorn is a riot.

He says things like "Do you know why rivers run to the south? Because they can't stand being up north!"

Soon we meet Cleghorn's wife. She orders Cleghorn around and he sheepishly follows her orders. We also meet his daughter played by a young and SUPER HOT June Lockhart (she is better known for her roles as a mom on "Lassie" and "Lost in Space"). Cleghorn's daughter is ready to marry her boyfriend Jeff, but mother disapproves. Dad likes the young man, but he has no say in the matter.

The other member of the Cleghorn house is Daisy the dog. Daisy is listed in the credits PROMININTLY. She is billed "as herself". At first glance it may seem like just a cute joke in the credits, but further research reveals that Daisy was a STAR! She appeared in over a dozen films, most notably as Dagwood Bumstead's pooch Daisy in the "Blondie" films. If you were unaware of them, they were a successful series of films based on the "Blondie" comic strip.

You can also tell THAT to the guy that complains about today’s movies based on other sources of media. Then you could pull that "I've got your nose" gag or that gag where you pretend to pull off the tip of your thumb, but it's really the tip of your other thumb. Those jokes are always a winner!

Anyway, the movie plays as a prequel to the radio show. It explains how Cleghorn becomes Senator. In the film his wife belongs to a group composed of snotty, upper class dames. They decide to have Mrs. Cleghorn run for senate. Then a small child accidentally spikes their punch and they all get drunk.

In case you are wondering, in this film a drunk, old lady does one of three things:
a) laughs
b) sleeps
or
c) sings Italian opera

By the way, that wasn't multiple choice. There was a dozen drunk, old ladies in the scene laughing, sleeping and singing Italian opera. It was like a David Lynch fantasy.

As the movie rolls forward, we meet the incumbant. in order to keep from losing his Senate seat, he hires Beauregard Cleghorn to run against his wife (just to split the vote, not to win.)

Soon, Cleghorn IS winning and they kidnap him. He ends up escaping just in time (oh yeah! SPOILER ALERT) to win the seat making him Senator Cleghorn.

It was a fun, fast paced film that lasted just over one hour. It was WELL worth the dollar I paid for it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Dear bunchojunk: Letters to the General Lee

Maybe you heard this before, maybe its news to you. Either way, it should still surprise you.

During the run of the hit TV show "The Dukes of Hazzard" the orange 1969 Dodge Charger, named "General Lee" received more letters than any of the human co-stars.

According to a 1982 TV Guide article, the automobile received 60,000 letters a month.

I can only assume that if the General Lee got the most letters, Daisy Duke's shorts must have been second followed by Daisy Duke.

During a recent tour of the Warner Brothers back lot I discovered a bag full of unanswered letters to the General Lee. They were fascinating.

In the past I have used this column to give advice, answer junk mail and babble incoherently about a pregnant Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This time I decided to answer the letters to the General Lee.


Letter #1
dear general lee
hi i am in third grade and i love your show
on our mailbox it says T SMITH because our last name is smith and my daddys name is Tom
does your mailbox say "glee" like when people are happy
i think it should because you make me happy
also are you related to bruce lee and are you chinese
love
billy
(No address given)

Dear Billy,
Thank you for writing, I always enjoy reading run on sentences from third graders. My mail box says nothing because - MAILBOXES DON'T TALK!! Get it? Well, you are writing fan mail to a car, so I guess you don't get it.
No, I am not related to Bruce Lee and I am not Chinese.
Thanks for writing.
Sincerely,
The General Lee


Letter #2
Dear Duke's Car,
I love your show! I have been writing fan letters to Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) for the past two years. She never writes back! I am 35, single and I live with my parents. I think she can relate to that because on the show they live with Uncle Jesse.
Anyway, I am so deeply in love with her that I spend most of my day making out with a Daisy action figure. Could you tell her to write back? Please!!! And ask her to marry me. If she won't marry me I would just kill myself!
Thanks,
Corey Handlee
Bloomington, MN

Dear Corey,
Daisy doesn't care about you. You should kill yourself. Feel free to suck on my exhaust pipe.
Sincerely,
The General Lee


Letter #3
Dear General Lee,
Since both Bo and Luke sit inside of you a whole lot, maybe you can answer a question for me: who has the firmer butt?
Signed,
Katie
Fort Bend, ID

Dear Katie,
Luke.
Sincerely,
The General Lee


Letter #4
Dear General Lee,
Do you know Herbie the Love Bug? Can you get him to send me an autograph?
Love,
Patti
(No address given)

Dear Patti,
No, I don't. Am I supposed to know him just because I am a car? Well then, do you know Jimmy Carter? Could you get him to do something about the high gas prices? Idiot.
Sincerely,
The General Lee


Letter #5
Dear General Lee,
Do you and Uncle Jesse "party" (and I think you know what I mean by "party")?
Bye,
Ted Ward
Lima, OH

Dear Ted,
I think I know what you mean by "party" and yes we do. Often we put on our "party hats" and play some "pin the tail" on the "donkey". Other days we eat a lot of "cake" and blow out the "candles". Yes, me and Uncle Jesse from the 'Dukes of Hazzard' do like to "party".
As for Uncle Jesse from 'Full House' we never "party". We just do drugs and pick up hookers.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Devil and Daniel Webster

This is a pretty interesting story.

Back in 2001 filming wrapped for a remake of the 1941 film "The Devil and Daniel Webster". This film would also be called "The Devil and Daniel Webster".
The film had an all star cast headlined by Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin.

Alec also directed the film making this his directing debut. Hewitt took the unusual role of the devil, thinking it would help her make the transition from teen roles to adult roles. Hopkins took the role for the money. The sweet, sweet money.

The film is based on a short story. The plot was as follows:

Set in New York City, a struggling writer (Baldwin) makes a contract with the Devil (Hewitt) to become a New York Times best-selling author in trade for his soul. The deal was that the devil got his soul in ten years. Soon the ten years are up and the writer hires ace lawyer Daniel Webster (Hopkins) to get him out of the contract. Then they go to trial.

It sounds like an interesting plot. I find it odd that so many stories use this or similar plots where the devil has to go door to door looking for souls. Doesn't the devil have a phone? Or email?

I also find a trial concept interesting. I would have had the late Johnnie Cochran play the devil's attorney. He could say "If the book sells well, you gotta come to hell."

Production wrapped on the film on March 13, 2001. Then the problems began.

I don't have the time, or even the organizational skills to put together a timeline for this mess. To put it simply: They ran out of money.

In September of 2002, Anthony Hopkins was asked about the fate of the film he said "They pulled the money out, apparently, so it'll never be seen, the producers have no money to finish it." Then he said "Now get me a bucket of fried chicken and some Three Stooges videos. Do it now! I am Anthony Hopkins, dammit!" Or at least that’s what I hope he said.

In 2004 the film was re-edited and Alec Baldwin asked to have his name removed from the project. The film then won a Naples-based Film Festival according to some websites that seem about as trustworthy as this one.

There are other websites that report FBI investigations of the financial problems of the film. Sadly, a whole bunch of people are owed a whole lot of money from this movie.

It is a shame. The one review I saw from someone who actually saw the film said it was "good" not "great," but above average and entertaining. I don't usually ask for more.

I hope that this fiasco doesn't hamper the odds of MY new movie succeeding.
I call it "The Devil and the Guy Who Played Webster". It will star Emmanuel Lewis.

Here is a script excerpt.

EMMANUEL LEWIS is in the Park looking at a balloon vendor.

Emmanuel: Man, I would sell my soul for some of those balloons.

Suddenly THE DEVIL appears.

The Devil: Shall we make a deal?
Emmanuel: Yes, my soul for those balloons.
The Devil: Done.

The Devil goes over and starts to pay the balloon vendor for the balloons. Then he remembers that he is the DEVIL and so he kills the man and takes the balloons.

The Devil: Here you go.
Emmanuel: Gee thanks!

Emmanuel takes the 20 balloons and is suddenly lifted up into the clouds.

Emmanuel: Uh oh!
The Devil: Come back here! I need your soul!
Emmanuel: Come and get it!
The Devil: Curses! Foiled again!

Then The Devil sits on the curb and cries.

THE END

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Zachary Taylor: The Old Rough and Ready President

Zachary Taylor was born November 24, 1784, two hundred years before the release of the Helen Slater blockbuster "Supergirl".
Taylor's nickname was "Old Rough and Ready" and Supergirl used the name Linda Lee to fool people into believing she was a member of the human race.
Taylor was the twelfth President of the United States, serving from 1849 to 1850. Taylor had an extensive military career, and became the first president not previously elected to any other public office.

Taylor was born in a log cabin to aristocratic parents. As an infant his family moved to Kentucky, where Taylor grew up known as "Little Zack."

Supergirl was born on Krypton where she was called Kara.

In 1808, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk war, the Second Seminole War and some other wars no one remembers. It was during the Seminole War he received the nickname "Old Rough and Ready".

Taylor garnered the Whig nomination for President in 1848, although he had never even bothered to vote before.

Let me restate that: HE NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO VOTE BEFORE!!!

Think about this! He became President without ever voting. EVER!!! This is the ultimate rebuttal to anyone who complains about the voting apathy of today’s youth or anybody else.

Taylor was elected and a historic moment took place during the transition from the previous president to his administration. His term of office was scheduled to begin March 4, 1849. However, that was a Sunday so Taylor and Vice President Millard Fillmore refused to be sworn in until March 5th. This meant that for the first time in the history of the nation there was no president. Historians look back at that day as THE GREATEST DAY EVER!!

After participating in ceremonies at the Washington Monument on July 4, 1850, Taylor became ill and died of gastroenteritis five days later. He had been President for only 16 months. He was succeeded by Vice President, Millard Fillmore. I wish I had a Supergirl joke to insert here.

Many assumed that Taylor had been poisoned, but those rumors were put to rest in the early 1990s when Taylor's remains were exhumed. The examination revealed that had likely died from food contaminated with typhoid or cholera. Taylor had in fact eaten a large quantity of iced milk and cherries on the hot day before he became sick.

It should be noted that iced milk and cherries were as popular a snack in 1850 as Goldfish crackers and a can of Red Bull are today. It was not considered the "gayest snack ever" as it would be considered today.


FUN FACTS ABOUT ZACHARY TAYLOR:

Taylor chewed tobacco and was famous for never missing a spittoon when he spat.

Taylor was the second President to die in office.

Taylor rode his horse sidesaddle whenever he went into battle.

Abraham Lincoln gave the eulogy at his funeral.

He was named after his grandfather.


FUN FACTS I JUST MADE UP ABOUT ZACHARY TAYLOR:

In Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents Taylor is the only President depicted shirtless.

His favorite games were blackjack, poker and "I’ve got your nose".

Only President to be certified as a "Lego-maniac".

Often said "An enemy is only a friend you haven't met yet. He would then shout "No wait, that’s a stranger! I always get those confused."

His nickname "Old rough and ready" is the current nickname of Hugh Hefner.


More Presidential nonsense:
Abe Lincoln: a man and his BEARD
William Howard Taft: The 350 pound president
Handsome Frank: The 14th President of the United States

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Where's the Beef?

I just finished reading a great Gumball Studios article on the Where's the Beef phenomena.
The article is a great read, but there was one fact brought up that I NEEDED to know more about: The "Where's The Beef" record!

Let me recap the whole "Where's the Beef" history for those born after 1985 and too lazy to click on the links above.

Wendy's was a moderately successful fast food chain back in the 1980's but it was three words that made them the giant franchise they are today.

Where's
the
beef

Wendy's had hired the Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample Ad Agency to produce a series of commercials> The commercial tried to show that McDonalds had much smaller beef patties than Wendy's. One of the ads featured a four foot eleven octogenarian named Clara Peller. Clara was a retired manicurist who had somehow ended up on camera. The results were amazing.

Clara and her two old lady companions are given a GIGANTIC bun with a very small meat patty. Rather than be overjoyed with the fact that they now had a bun so large that the three of them could live off of it for a month (AND feed every pigeon they saw) they were outraged!

"Where's the Beef!" Clara yelled and a catchphrase was born.

Soon the slogan was on T-shirts, bumper stickers and any other flat surface Wendy's could find.

So the slogan was put on a vinyl record.

The record was called, obviously, "Where's the Beef" and featured Clara along with Coyote McCloud.

Coyote has been a radio host since 1965. He has worked in all over the south and in a place called "Newark, NY". Up until this point I only knew of a Newark in New Jersey. I guess New Jersey gave it to New York. I am surprised they took it. Or maybe it's a different place all together. I'm not sure and I stopped caring two sentences ago.

Anyway, Coyote counts songwriting among his hobbies, so Wendy's hired him to write and produce a track featuring Clara and her famous line. The song was custom pressed by Wendy's and quickly became the highest selling record of all time (not including records NOT pressed by Wendy's.)

If you would like to hear this little ditty, It is available on the web on celebrityvinylheaven.com. It's part of a pretty sweet "podcast" that you can download by clicking here.

The song is the last one on the podcast, so here is a track listing by time:

0:18 Pac Man Fever
2:40 Bruce Willis sings
7:59 Phillip Michael Thomas tries to sing
12:20 Don Johnson rocks
20:00 Mr. T croons "The Toughest Man in the World". This is one of my all time favorites.

and at 25:10 we get to hear Clara sing.

Actually, as you probably guessed, she doesn't sing. She just says "Where's the Beef" over and over as Coyote and a few backup singers do the actually singing. The song features on of those "synthesither beats" that were popular in the 1980's. The song is sort of a rap, but not exactly.
Here are the lyrics:

Where's the Beef

Old lady walkin' in the mid day sun
She stops for lunch in the House of Buns

I was so excited when I heard that she was going into my favorite strip joint on Sunset Blvd. Then I realized it was the name of the fast food place.
Now I just realized that I admitted to be excited about an old lady in a strip joint.
Please, have this whole thing stricken from the record. Thanks.
She orders a hamburger (Well, of course)
They brought her some buns and a chunk of horse

Now I'm repulsed. The lyrics were a bit hard to hear at this point but I am almost positive he said "chunk of horse".
She thought she was getting a heck of a deal
A buck ninety-nine for a whole darn meal
But, when she opened the buns to put on the mustard
Her eyes watered and she got all flustered
She said "I've had burgers well done and rare
now I've got one that ain't even there"
She got no response from ringing the bell
And that's when she started to yell

CHORUS

Clara: Where's the Beef?

FINALLY Clara Peller shows up! I know it doesn't sound like much but it took 40 seconds to hear Clara say "Where's the Beef?"! That first 39 seconds is the longest 39 seconds in the world! It just seemed like an eternity waiting for her to say it. I started the song and before she came on I was so bored I started to do my taxes.
If I ever find out that I only have 39 seconds to live, I will spend it listening to the beginning of this song. That way it will seem like an eternity.
Ah, who am I kidding, I would spend it looking for old ladies at a strip joint.
Young man can't you hear her call
Clara: Where's the Beef?
She don't see no beef at all
Clara: Where's the Beef?
Call a cop to catch the thief
Clara: Where's the Beef?
The one who stole this ladies beef
Clara: Where's the Beef?
Eenie meanie miney mo
Tell us where did her beef go?
Clara: Where's the Beef?
Won't somebody end her grief
and tell her where's the beef

They have now officially exhausted Coyote McCloud's list of "words that rhyme with beef". The desperation is apparent when they start doing the "Eenie meanie miney mo" stuff. Think about it, does that make any sense? Here are some lines that were cut from the song:
"Fee fi foe and fum, why is there no meat on the bun"
"Hickory dickory doc, she waits for meat around the clock"
"Hark the herald angel sings, at least give her some onion rings"
"Jack be nimble jack be quick, man, this song will make you sick"
Can anybody hear me?
I don't think there's anybody back there

At this point is sounds like the song is at the bridge, but it's really the second verse. The "I don't think there's anybody back there" quote was Clara's other line. It never took off, and I didn't quite understand it. It's not like fast food joints don't have people that work in the back. She should have said "I don't think anyone back there speaks English" because, let's face it, most old ladies are racists.
Clara: Where's the Beef?
Biggest rip off you ever saw
I swear there oughta be a law
Woman can't live by buns alone
She's caught in a hamburger "Twilight Zone"

At this point generic Twilight Zone-esque music plays in the background. Truthfully though, how does getting a small burger relate to the Twilight Zone? Now if the burger was trying to EAT her, THAT would be an AWESOME Twilight Zone.
Clara: Where's the Beef?
She asked the boss
He said "Check under the special sauce"
Man this whole thing's too weird for me

Exactly what I was thinking.
Where oh where can her beef be?
What's the secret, tell me how
Three billion sold from just one cow

For those of you who doubted that the commercial was aimed at McDonald's, there's the proof. By the way, the cow's name was Buttercup.
(CHORUS)

Clara: Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? I don't think there's anyone back there. Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef? Where's the Beef?

Carla just says it over and over. It's at this point that you can tell that Clara probably never actually went to a recording studio for this song. Instead, they just played clips of her from the commercial.
You know, I just realized that this song sounds just like Rodney Dangerfield's "Rappin Rodney"! Now I have to find that!

RELATED READING
Gumball Studio's Where's the Beef article
Nixon eats a Big Mac
The Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch Commercial
Burger King's Left Handed Whopper
Kids Meals

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Superbowl Shuffle

In 1985 the music world and the ears of radio fans everywhere were assaulted by the most bizarre of songs.

The Superbowl Shuffle

The world was anxiously awaiting the Superbowl, and for some reason that cannot be explained EVERYONE was a Chicago Bears fan.

It seemed like the next logical step to put them all together in a music video to create an anthem for the team and the big game.
They chose to "rap" rather than "sing" because in 1985 EVERYONE thought they could rap. Honestly, every single commercial had either a rappin' old lady or a rappin' dishwasher. Some had both.

It has been 20 years since the Superbowl Shuffle and, for the most part, the county has survived and even prospered. Still one can easily look at the rap efforts of Shaq or Darryl Strawberry and point a finger of blame at this video.

The video and song were a charity effort, but became such a hit that they were nominated for a Grammy Award. Within minutes of the nomination millions of people lost respect for the Grammys.

So, with no further ado, here it is:

The Superbowl Shuffle:

We are the Bears Shufflin' Crew
Shufflin' on down, doin' it for you.
We're so bad we know we're good.
Blowin' your mind like we knew we would.
You know we're just struttin' for fun
Struttin' our stuff for everyone.
We're not here to start not trouble.
We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.

Struttin', shufflin', blowin', remember it is not cool to speak the letter 'g'.

UNCOOL
Eating

COOL
Eatin'

UNCOOL
Washing

COOL
Washin'

UNCOOL
Mammary gland

COOL
Mammary Land
(Also a wonderful theme park! The happiest place on earth.)

(Walter Payton)
Well, they call me Sweetness,
And I like to dance.
Runnin' the ball is like makin' romance.

NO ONE TOUCH THE BALL AFTER PAYTON!
We've had the goal since training camp
To give Chicago a Super Bowl Champ.
And we're not doin' this
Because we're greedy.
The Bears are doin' it to feed the needy.

This is the charity thing I was talking about. They aren't doing the SONG because they are greedy. They wanted to WIN THE SUPERBOWL because they are greedy.

We didn't come here to look for trouble,
We just came here to do
The Super Bowl Shuffle.

Great, they didn't come to the video shoot looking for trouble.

(Willie Gault)
This is Speedy Willie, and I'm world class.
I like runnin' but I love to get the pass.
I practice all day and dance all night,
I got to get ready for the Sunday fight.
Now I'm as smooth as a chocolate swirl,
I dance a little funky, so watch me, girl.
There's not one here that does it like me,
My Super Bowl Shuffle will set you free.

Willie went on to play "Willie the sweeper" on TV's "The Pretender"
Here's his newest track "The Pretender Shuffle"
This is Sweeping Willie, and I clean the street
But right now I rap to the funky beat
I sweep all day and drink myself to sleep
"I wish I still played football" you may hear me weep
I go to work hung over and un-showered
Willie the Sweeper makes six bucks an hour
There's not one here that does it like me,
My Pretender Shuffle will make you pity me.


Awesome!

(Mike Singletary)
I'm Samurai Mike I stop'em cold.
Part of the defense, big and bold,
I've been jammin' for quite a while,
Doin' what's right and settin' the style,
Give me a chance, I'll rock you good,
Nobody messin' in my neighborhood.
I didn't come here lookin' for trouble,
I just came to do The Super Bowl Shuffle

Jammin', settin', messin', lookin', see what I mean about the letter 'G'?
The fact the g's are uncool is actually the reason "nobody messin'" in his neighborhood. There are no gangs there only ' an '. Without the g's they aren't nearly as dangerous.

(Jim McMahon)
I'm the punky QB, known as McMahon.
When I hit the turf, I've got no plan.
I just throw my body all over the field.

Oddly enough that is the same strategy that the Jets use.
I can't dance, but I can throw the pill.
I motivate the cats, I like to tease.

Dancin', throwin' pills, teasin' and givin' motivational speeches to cats. Jim sure is "punky".
I play so cool, I aim to please.
That's why you all got here on the double
To catch me doin' the Super Bowl Shuffle.


(Otis Wilson)
I'm mama's boy Otis, one of a kind.
The ladies all love me
For my body and my mind.
I'm slick on the floor as I can be
But ain't no sucker gonna get past me.
Some guys are jealous
Of my style and class,
That's why some end up on their -,

I didn't edit this, Otis never said where "some" ended up. They just played a sound effect.

I wonder where the people who are jealous of Otis Wilson's style and class end up. Perhaps an enchanted forest, or an alligator pit. If only Otis would tell us.

I didn't come here lookin' for trouble,
I just get down to The Super Bowl Shuffle.


(Steve Fuller)
They say Jimbo is our man.
If Jimmy can't do it, I sure can.
This is Steve, and it's no wonder
I run like lightnin', pass like thunder.
So bring on Atlanta, bring on Dallas,
This is for Mike and Papa Bear Halas.
I'm not here to feather his ruffle,

Feather his ruffle? I am not sure what the heck THAT means.
Steve was Punky Jim's backup QB which explains his butt kissing in the beginning of the verse. The ruffle and the feathers remain unexplained. THANK GOD.
I just came here to do
The Super Bowl Shuffle.

(Mike Richardson)
I'm L.A. Mike, and I play it cool.

L.A. Mike? What the heck is he doing on the Chicago team? I know Los Angeles hates football, but shouldn't Mike be in San Diego or Oakland or something?
They don't sneak by me 'cause I'm no fool.
I fly on the field and get on down.
Everybody knows I don't mess around.
I can break'em, shake'em,
Any time of day.
I like to steal it and make 'em pay,
So please don't try to beat my hustle
'Cause I'm just here to do
The Super Bowl Shuffle.

Beat my hustle?
I guess they keep changing the line BEFORE the "I here doin' the Superbowl Shuffle" part so we will think it is BRILLIANT when we hear the real verse rather than this nonsense.
I like the theory that "hustle" rhymes with "shuffle". I guess they figure ANYTHING rhymes if you pronounce it wrong.

Other words that (sort of) rhyme with "shuffle":
Waffle
Bustle
Muscle
Topple
Rebuttal
Kentuckle
Arbuckle
Gomer Pyle
Forrest Gump
Private Benjamin (Oops, I just got distracted and started writing the names of fictional soldiers. Sorry about that.)

(Repeat Chorus)

(Richard Dent)
The sackman's comin', I'm your man Dent.

THE SACKMAN!!!!! THE SACKMAN? Am I the only one that thinks that Fuller has found a guy upon whose ruffle a feathering could be done?
if the quarterback's slow,
He's gonna get bent.
We stop the run, we stop the pass,
I like to dump guys on their -.

Pretending to curse was ALSO very popular in 1985.
We love to play for the world's best fans,
You better start makin'
Your Super Bowl plans.
But don't get ready or go to any trouble
Unless you practice
The Super Bowl Shuffle.



(Gary Fencik)
It's Gary here, and I'm Mr.Clean.
They call me "hit man,"
Don't know what they mean.

Hitman: A hitman (alternately, hit man) is a hired assassin, usually in the employ of organized crime. Hitmen are often hired for an extended period of time, rather than per job. Also the nickname for boxer Tommy Hearns and pro-wrestler Bret Hart.

They throw it long and watch me run,
I'm on my man, one-on-one.
Buddy's guys cover it down to the bone,
That's why they call us the 46 zone.

I don't know what that means, but he didn't know what "hit man" meant so I don't feel too bad.
Come on everybody let's scream and yell,
We're goin' to do the Shuffle,
Then ring your bell.


(William Perry)
You're lookin' at the Fridge,
I'm the rookie.
I may be large, but I'm no dumb cookie.

It is important to note that The Fridge was the most popular man in U.S. history up until this point. School teachers relayed his mighty stories of the gridiron to their students and children were taught to say their prayers to him. Today he mostly enters hot dog eating contests and has to tell a lot of people "No, I wasn't on 'What's Happening', that was Shirley Hemphill. No, she didn't dance with Mr. Bojangles, THAT was Shirley Temple. Could I borrow $20?"
You've seen me hit, you've seen me run,
When I kick and pass, we'll have more fun.
I can dance, you will see
The others, they all learn from me.
I don't come here lookin' for trouble,
I just came here to do
The Super Bowl Shuffle.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Wild Ants

Take a good look at that. Take a REALLY good look at that. That is WILD ANTS. I found this at a local drug store.

Wild Ants.


I am not sure the purpose of Wild Ants. My first impulse is "toy" but closer inspection points toward "torture device".

Look again:


See how the giant ants roam free upon his lifeless body. See the look of shock/horror frozen on his face. He has become a victim of the Wild Ants.

I bring you his obituary:

Tommy Breybantz dead at age 15

Tommy Breybantz, was found dead yesterday in his parents Cansville home. Tommy had been walking through his room when he was attacked by Wild Ants. Tommy apparently fell backwards onto his bed snapping his neck. The Wild Ants then devoured him.
Tommy will be missed by the community for his skills at kickball and "burping the alphabet".
He is survived by his parents, but not for long. They will soon be Wild Ant food.


Very sad.

You know, it just dawned on me how silly the name Wild Ants is. Why "Wild"? Is that to differentiate these from other ants available on the market?



Aren't all ants technically wild? Maybe the name is just to evoke memories of Weird Al Yankovic's cover of the famous Troggs track "Wild Thing"

Wild Ants (by Al Yankovic, to the tune of Wild Thing by the Troggs)

Wild Ants
You killed Tommy Breybantz
You didn't give him a chance
Come on, Wild Ants

Wild Ants, I think you killed him
But I gotta know for sure
Come on and check his pulse
Oh you killed him


Inspired by Al's fine work, I decided to present my own Wild Ant's poem:

Wild Ants (by Guy Hutchinson, inspired by Al Yankovic, who was inspired by the Troggs)

I live in fear of the Wild Ants
I hope they never get in my pants
I fear Wild Ants and hate them so
Just like any film starring Bronson Pinchot
Did you see that flick called "Second Sight?"
It was on cable the other night
Pinchot starred opposite John Larroquette
I watched half of it, I admit with regret
John played a detective, Bronson a Psychic
The screenplay was written by Patricia Resnick
I never heard of her before
But I shall remember her forevermore


I love Wild Ants.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Yahoo Serious

Remember Yahoo Serious? Neither do I. To be truthful, I am not sure I even WANT to remember him. But, I feel the need to give y'all something to read today and this is the best I could do.

So grab a glass of raspberry milk and sharpen your #1 pencils (that's right NUMBER ONE pencils! Lets give those self righteous #2 pencils a run for their money!) I never finished the last sentence because I got off on that #2 pencils thing. I have no idea what I was originally going to write.

Yahoo Serious was born July 27 1953 under the name Greg Pead. That name is even stupider that Yahoo. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had become famous with that name?

SCENERIO #1: (with the name Greg Pead)
Greg walks down 5th Avenue in New York. MAN #1 spots him.
MAN #1: Look! Greg Pead on 5th Avenue!
MAN #2: What! Some guy peed on 5th Avenue! That is an outrage
COP: Greg, you are going to jail for public urination.

SCENERIO #2 (with the name Yahoo Serious)
Yahoo walks down 5th Avenue in New York. He spots MAN #1.
YAHOO: Hey I just peed on 5th Avenue.
MAN #1: Are you serious?
YAHOO: Yes, Yahoo SERIOUS.
Man #1 punches Yahoo in the face.

SCENERIO #3 (with the name Edward Norton)
Ed walks down 5th Avenue in New York. He spots MAN #1.
ED: Hey I just peed on 5th Avenue.
MAN #1: Are you Ed Norton?
ED: Yes.
MAN #1: The one from 'Fight Club' or 'The Honeymooners'?
ED: Both
MAN #1: Let's go punch Yahoo Serious in the face.


SCENERIO #4 (with the name Mr. I. Peeonthestreet)
Mr. I walks down 5th Avenue in New York. He spots MAN #1.
Mr. I: Jeez, this is getting lame.
MAN #1: Lame like 'Fight Club' or 'The Honeymooners'?
Mr. I: I don't know, I don't watch PBS.
MAN #1: Do you know where I can get a good hot dog around here?
Mr. I: Are you hitting on me?
MAN #1: Yes, I am.


Anyway, Yahoo changed his name in 1980. He is an Australian film maker. He is best known for his 1988 film, Young Einstein. He wrote, directed, produced and starred in that film as well as his two other features, 1993's Reckless Kelly and 2000's Mr. Accident.

Yahoo was born in Hunter Valley, New South Wales in Australia. As a youth he worked as a tire fitter to pay his art school tuition.

I am not sure what a tire fitter does. I assume they fit tires, but I needed to be sure. So I went to www.tire-fitter.com. I learned nothing.

Yahoo was expelled from art school but rebounded by making his first film at age 21. It was a documentary called Coaltown which explored the social and political history of coal mining, hilarity ensued.

The next year he had a television series called Lifestyle. It won something called the Australian Penguin Award for Best Educational Documentary.

The Australian Penguin Award is now my 6th favorite 'Penguin thing'.

1. Nuns
2. The flightless bird
3. The Batman villain
4. The 1950's doo wop band
5. The Pittsburgh Penguins
6. The Australian Penguin Award

Serious' big hit, 'Young Einstein', was an intentionally inaccurate movie featuring Albert Einstein as a young Tasmanian farmer who created rock music. The movie grossed over $26 million.

Serious waited until 1993 to release his next film, Reckless Kelly, a farce about Australian bank robber 'Ned Kelly'. The film was a hit in his native land, but failed elsewhere. It could be that the wait between films caused audiences to forget the outlandish man from down under. After another long hiatus, in 2000, Serious released a film called 'Mr. Accident’; it was about a guy who is accident prone.

In August of 2000, Serious sued search engine Yahoo! for trademark infringement. The case was quickly thrown out.

Despite a fall from the mainstream in the U.S., Serious has remained a star in Australia.

The motto of this story is: STAY OUT OF AUSTRAILIA!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Apple Switch Girl AKA beep beep beep beep beep

Back in 2002 Apple computer ran a series of ads where ordinary people would say why they SWITCHed from PCs to Apple computers.

One ad stood out, the one starring a quirky teenager named Ellen Feiss.


The ad featured Ellen in front of a white background. Ellen told a story about how she was writing a paper on a PC but the computer started to go "beep beep beep beep beep" and then she went "eh?" and then like half her paper was gone. Then she had to write it again but she wrote it real fast and so it wasn't as good. She said it was kind of a "bummer".

The commercial works for many reasons. First of all, most PC users HAVE had similar experiences (except for the "beep beep beep beep beep" part) and Ellen has a charm to her.

Within a few days of the first airing of the spot Ellen became a cult phenomenon on the web. Legions of "stoners", who mistakenly assumed she was high, acclaimed her as a hero. Thousands of parody ads appeared on message boards and websites.


Ellen was approached by both Letterman and Leno to appear on the show, but turned both of them down. She was also contacted by the makers of "Shallow Hal" for some possible film work that never materialized.

Her fifteen minutes of fame were powerful, even getting a mention in “Fox Trot”. Sure, a mention in “Fox Trot” is not as good as a mention in “Ziggy” but what is?



Interestingly, Ellen got the Switch commercial by accident.

She showed up to watch some other Apple spots with a friend who happened to be the director's son. Since there were some open spots, Ellen ended up recording a commercial herself.

Ellen also did another commercial that was not aired. This was for the Apple G4.

It was a good commercial, but it did not have the pizzazz of the FIRST spot. This leads me to an important question: What happened to her computer that caused it to go “beep beep beep beep” and devour half of her really good paper?

I was determined to find out so I started to fool around with my own PC. I typed a really good paper and hoped that it would 'devour' it.

Then I stared at the screen for about an hour waiting for it to do so. Soon I begin to get really sleepy. I dozed off and was awakened by the same “beep beep beep beep” sound Ellen heard. I sat up and looked at the screen and HALF OF THE PAPER WAS GONE.
Maybe Ellen did the same thing I did, pass out on the “backspace” button. The beeping of the stuck key woke her up before the whole thing was gone.

Like Ellen, I had to rewrite the second half of my paper. My paper is this article. The rewrite isn’t very good, but neither was the original.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Yahoo! reviews the UA Movies at Market Fair 10

Princeton New Jersey is famous for many things. It is home to one of the most famous learning institutions in the world, it was the home of President Grover Cleveland and it is home to the UA Movies at Market Fair 10.

It is a fairly ordinary movie theater located in a nice average shopping mall but that is not what Yahoo! would have you believe.

On December 30, 2004 a Yahoo user posted a review under the title "Poor Snacks". This caught my eye because "Poor Snacks" was my hip hop name back when I used to hang with the Wu Tang Clan.


A Yahoo! user is actually anyone who goes to the Yahoo! website and posts a review, so this isn't Yahoo!'s official position on the theater. This user gave the theater 2 stars.
Let's take a look at the review:

Poor Snacks
by A Yahoo! User from Pennington, NJ
12/30/04
The theaters are to small and it has horrible snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy and they are bad candies.

I don't know why, but this cracked me up. Perhaps it's that the author wrote "to small" instead of "too small", maybe it is the obsession to candy who knows.

As the hip hop master Poor Snacks I decided to pen a little rap about it.

Yo! The snacks are poor but I want more
Gimme some candy or show me the door
Don't waste my time with small theater hype
Just gimme candy- more than five types
But if your candy selection is limited and bad
you gonna make the mighty Poor Snacks mad
Then it's DANGER call the RANGER I'm full of ANGER
I'd rather stay home and watch "The Banger-
Sisters" starring Susan Sarandon
Then go to your theater, cause the candies is DONE!

Yeah, I still got skills.

Anyway, I am inclined to agree with the "to small" theater comment EVEN with the grammatical error. Most theaters have gone from nice big movie house to tiny screen multiplexes in the past 20 years or do. Still, the criticism of the snack situation makes me laugh.

I got a bigger laugh when a follow up review was posted by another Yahoo! user a month later. This one gave the theater a maximum rating of 5 stars and said the following:
Good Snacks
by A Yahoo! User from Pennington, NJ
01/11/05
The theaters are to big and it has good snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy but they are tasty candies.

I LOVE IT!!! A solid, dead on, parody that would make Weird Al Yankovic cringe with envy! Look at them side by side:

#1: The theaters are to small and it has horrible snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy and they are bad candies.
#2: The theaters are to big and it has good snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy but they are tasty candies.


About a month later a new review was posted reading:

Mediocre Snacks
by A Yahoo! User from Penningon, NJ
The theaters are just the right size and it has mediocre snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy but they are average candy.

This was a great sequel to the original parody. This time the user was from Penningon (rather than Pennington) I assume this was a typo since Penningon is actually not a town in New Jersey, rather a delicious pasta and steak dish.
This user gave the theater 3 stars out of five. Now the floodgates were open and silliness ensued.

The next review read:
Moist Snacks
by A Yahoo! User
02/09/05
The theaters are to damp and it has wet snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy but they are liquid covered candies.

Sure it's a bit bizarre and esoteric, but they managed to bring back the misuse of the word "to", that was refreshing!

On Valentine's Day another review followed:
Too dark
by A Yahoo! User
02/14/05
The theaters are dark, but not tooo dark and it has dark chockolate snacks, it only has like 5 types of dark chockolates but they are certainly dark enough. The theatre runs commedies, but only dark commedies.

There is a flash of brilliance in this review as well as the reviewer added an EXTRA 'o' to the word 'too' rather than dropping one. Way to think outside the box.

A few days later this one appeared:
No Snacks
by A Yahoo! User
02/23/05
The theaters to nice and it has some snacks, it has at least 5 types of candy but I am diabetic.

Then this one:
Lacks snacks
by A Yahoo! User from Pennington NJ
03/01/05
The theater is a good value but it has horrible snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy and they are bad candies.

Sadly the genre was becoming a bit old. Only the simple rhyming of the title makes this one interesting.
A day later this was posted:
Whack Snacks
by A Yahoo! User
03/02/05
The theaters are to dope, but it has whack snacks, it only has like 5 types of candy and they are ill candies.

I liked this one because it reminded me of my hip hop roots but still, the horse seemed dead and there seemed to be no reason to beat it.

However before the week was over the entire concept had been reevaluated:
Great Movie Place
by Omar from Tunisia
03/07/05
Cow not needed
I do not understand the nitpicky reviews others have given this movie place. I think the movie place is best. In my country we most sit in hot rooms and project movie onto white cow. People should be more happy with what they have. However, sometimes I would like white chocolate.

Thank you Omar, you have breathed life into a tired gag. God bless you.
The next review read:
I Like Grape Jelly
by A Yahoo! user
03/08/05
This is a good theater, it reminds me of grape jelly. Welch’s makes good grape jelly, but they do not make a good apple jelly. So I decided to make my own recipe:
Apple Jelly
4 cups apple juice (about 3 pounds tart apples and 3 cups water)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups sugar
To prepare juice: Select one-fourth slightly under ripe and three-fourths ripe apples. Wash apples; remove stem and blossom ends; do not peel or core. Cut apples into small pieces. Add water; cover ; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until apples are soft. Strain juice through a damp jelly bag or several layers of cheese cloth.
To make jelly: Put apple juice in a large saucepot. Add lemon juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil over high heat, stirring constantly, to 8 degrees F above the boiling point of water or until jelly mixture sheets from a spoon. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jelly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4th inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. process 5 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Yield: about 4 half-pints

Mysteriously this review VANISHED just a day later! What had happened? Had the reviewer rescinded the review? Did Yahoo! think someone was pulling their leg? Do the powerful forces at Welch’s block any attempt at someone getting a good jelly recipe to the public? I don't know.

What I do know is that a review appeared a few days later:
Where is Brooke Shields
by A Yahoo! User from Princeton, NJ
03/18/05
I heard Brooke Shields went to Princeton. I went to this theater and I didn't see her! That was a bummer. I only go out like five times a year and that was a bad time. But I liked the candy.

Then this one:
Bocados pobres
by A Yahoo! User from Hopewell, NJ
03/18/05
Los teatros están a pequeño y tiene bocados horribles, tiene solamente como 5 tipos de caramelo y son malos caramelos.

This was basically the original "Poor Snacks" review translated to Spanish.

The next review was:
Chairs Too Comfortable
by Paul Dennis from Trenton
03/18/05
I am writing to complain about the chairs in this theater. They are far too comfortable. I was with my girlfriend watching Oceans Eleven for the 23rd time (or was it the 24th time? I lost count after 15) and I found myself getting very drousy. At first I thought it was the pork chops and apple pie I ate before coming to the film but then I realized it had to be something else. Once I was in Greece and I met this guy who told me that.... Im sorry; I'm getting off the subject. Back to the complaint. Well, Im watching Oceans Eleven; you know, the part where Russell Crowe is fighting that guy with the nunchucks in the Arena. By the way, he totally didn't impress me in that role. The sword he was using in the movie was actually from a different historical time period and his belt was not made of real camel skin. Everyone knows that Gladiator's belts are made of real camel skin. So, I'm sitting in the movie and this guy in front of my starts whispering to his kid. He's like telling his kid the whole plot of the movie. So I lean over and say..."excuse me sir; there are other people trying to watch this movie". He turns around and says... Oh, I apologize, I'll try to keep it down". Can you believe that guy? Some people have real nerve!!!!! By the way; you guys only have like 5 snacks and no sugar daddys.

Hysterical.

Then this one appeared:
Hungry Hungry Hippos!!
by Zeus McGillapuddin from Vernfield Village, Alabamasville, Texastown, Virginiasberg, Detroit
03/25/05
Did you ever have the feeling you were being watched? I have a feeling that movies feel that way a lot. I have had the pleasure of watching 4 quality productions at this facility and am quite please with the service. The persons at the counter are very friendly and the carpets are red. You could cook on the bathroom floors.... they are that clean! I made bacon and french toast in there last time I went to see a movie. I would probably give this theater a rating of 3 out of 4. Generally I give a 6 but Brook Sheilds wasn't there and they only had like 5 candies.

Great call backs to some of the earlier reviews and a mention of the "like 5 candies" I give this review 5 stars!

The most recent review is as follows:
Theatre or theater
by Sir Heman Thurmond from Princeton NJ
04/04/05
I have heard some people call this a "movie theater" it is not! It is a "film theater". The difference should be obvious to anyone born in Princeton. I had an excellent time at this theater (watching a FILM by the way) and I liked the experience. I also found the popcorn to be a bit "null and void" if you will, but by and by it was all spendiferous! Touchee good man, touchee!

Touchee indeed.

You can read all the reviews or post you own by clicking here.