Monday, November 29, 2004

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with guest stars Mr. T and the Seven Dwarves

I must admit I had never watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition before. In fact if you had asked me 2 weeks ago WHAT IT WAS, I would have said it was a do it yourself plastic surgery kit (the kind Burt Reynolds and Marie Osmond used.)

Moreover, if you explained to me that it was a show where designers redesign a house to accommodate a disabled child I would have WISHED it was the plastic surgery kit!

Still, when I heard that Mr. T was going to be on this weekend, I made sure to watch.

The show starts by introducing the Burns family. Sadly it wasn't Mr. Burns from the Simpson's. Luckily, it wasn't Ken Burns' family from PBS.

Instead, it was a nice family in Garden Grove, California. Garden Grove is the home of the world famous Crystal Cathedral and located right across the highway from Disneyland.

The Burns' have a child with a disability that makes his bones very brittle. He was like Sam Jackson's character except without evil plans for mass murder.

Or so it would seem. I'm keeping an eye on you, kid.

So, the family vacates their house so a demolition crew can rip apart their home and rebuild it in a manner that suits them better.

Because they were so close to Disneyland, the Seven Dwarves show up to help rip apart the house. Using pick axes and sledgehammers Dopey, Doc, Sleepy, Rocky, Cheesy and Heloise (or whatever their names were) start destroying the walls. It was a nightmare I have had for years. Only in THAT version Michael Eisner is telling me that if I don't give him 10% of my income Donald Duck is going to break my kneecaps.

After destroying the house, a large crew goes to work on making a new improved house. Every few minutes they throw in something wacky for the home audience.

On this episode there was a skit where they stole the 3rd base pad from Angel Stadium (to decorate the child’s room), a scene where they hooked a fire hose to a water bed, and Mr. T.

Mr. T tosses the host into some materials for the child’s room. This is to make sure they are soft enough for the little boy’s weak bones.

Afterwards, Mr. T called the family on the phone, said "I pity the fool" and gave a motivational speech to the crew. Then he took photos with EVERYONE.

The show ends with the family returning to see their home. The modifications that were made are both functional and attractive.

The family was happy and thankful.

ABC then ran a promo looking for people who would like to have their home 'made over.'

I would let Mr. T and Grumpy destroy my house ANY DAY.

They wouldn't even have to rebuild it.

Hot Dogs of Hollywood

Mmmmmm mmm. Nothing says tasty like a good ol' hot dog. Or that old British lady at the bank. She says tasty 'tass tee.' I am not sure why I know that.

Still, old ladies aside, I love a hot dog.

In a quest to find THE GREATEST HOT DOG in Hollywood I visited three of the most famous hot dog eateries in the world. I ate three hot dogs full of sodium, nitrates and parts of over 25 different animals. Needless to say it was the greatest lunch of my life!!!

Possibly the most famous hot dog stand in the world, Pink's routinely has a wait of over 30 minutes.
Pink's is often used as an establishing shot in movies set in Hollywood such as Volcano and Golden Child.
Founded by Paul Pink in 1939 the hot spot is famous for their chili dogs. I decided, however, that to keep this as fair a comparison as possible I would try all the hot dogs plain. No chili, no mustard, no ketchup, no marshmallow fluff, no essence of Emril, no heaven, no hell below us, nothing to kill or die for, no religion, no possessions, no need for greed or hunger- I’m sorry at moments this negative I have a tendency to turn into John Lennon.

So I asked for one plain Pink's hot dog and in less than 30 seconds I was sitting under an autographed photo of Bill Cosby and eating a hot dog.

The walls of Pink's are COVERED with photos of hot dog eating celebrities. Everyone from Rosie O'Donnell to Jay Leno has signed a photo for their walls.

Before I left I bought a Pink's T-shirt. The black shirt features their famous logo on the front and the quote "A Hollywood Legend since 1939."

Pink's is located on La Brea drive near Melrose. It is about 2 minutes south of Hollywood Blvd.

CONCLUSION: AWESOME! A great hot dog, with one of the best tasting hot dog buns I ever had.


After Pink's I headed to Hollywood Blvd. for Skooby's. Skooby's is right on the Walk of Fame and very close to Fredericks' Of Hollywood.
I ordered a hot dog and a glass of fresh lemonade. The lemonade was so good I briefly contemplating just looking for places with good lemonade and skipping the whole 'hot dog' thing.
But then, I tried the hot dog. They cooked slower than at Pink's, but it was worth it.

This was a fantastic hot dog! Hot off the grill, covered in grease it was one of the greatest things I have ever put in my mouth -and that includes the time I bit one of Robert Plant's guitars at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. (I would like to tell you more, but I have been advised not to, as the case is still pending.)
I also picked up a shirt. This one is red featuring the 'Eat Skooby's Hot Dogs Hollywood' logo.

CONCLUSION: Maybe it was because I was soooo jazzed about the lemonade, maybe it was because the girl working the grill was cute, or maybe it was just because the word 'Skooby' brings to mind images of the Mystery Machine and Casey Kassem, but regardless, this was the greatest hot dog I have ever had.


I decided to finish my hot dog eating journey with a very famous hot dog, the stadium treat, THE Dodger Dog.
Since Dodger Stadium is located about 20 minutes outside of Hollywood, I headed to the only place in Hollywood where I can buy a Dodger Dogs all year round.

Universal Studios, home of Jurassic Park, King Kong and Jaws also has a Dodger Dog stand. With the familiar Dodger's logo on the marquee, the stand sells hot dogs that are identical to the ones sold behind home plate.
Of course, being at a theme park, this was the most expensive hot dog I ate that day.
The stand was right outside Back to the Future the Ride so after my three hot dog lunch I traveled across time in search of Biff and a stolen time machine.

The best news was I didn't lose my lunch.

All in all, the Dodger's stand was nice and convenient. The hot dog was big and served fast.
They didn't sell T-shirts at the stand, but I was able to visit a huge Dodger's MLB store in nearby Universal Studio's City Walk.

CONCLUSION: Another great hot dog.

I love hot dogs and I love Hollywood. Finally, I can love them both at once.
Still, I don't get the joke about the British lady at the bank. Also, what was the deal with that Robert Plant story? Does that even count as a joke?

FINAL CONCLUSION: I wish I had called this 'Weiner's of Hollywood.' That would have been funnier. I also think the review of Skooby's was a bit short.
Plus, why didn't I take a photo of the stand at Universal Studios? THAT was a glaring error.
FINAL GRADE: B (I have written worse)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

10 Things to be Thankful for

On Thanksgiving we all give thanks for the wonderful things in our lives. Here are some things I am thankful for:

10. That guy who explained to me what a 'hemi' was so now I understand truck commercials a little better. Before, I thought it was a man dressed as a woman.

9. That I have not seen a new Ryan Phillippe film in 4 years.

8. That as a man, I can eat a Yorkie.

7. Lucy the Elephant, even though she can't eat a Yorkie.

6. I am thankful the show The O.C. is about 'Orange County', California not 'octopus candy.'

5. That despite the fact that I have said "Kool Aid" many times, the Kool Aid Man hasn't broken down any walls in my house.

4. The Real Gilligan's Island, only because it puts us closer to The Real ALF.

3. Mountain Dew Code Red. It's like drinking a horrible emergency.

2. Planetariums, it's like being outside without all that having to go outside stuff.

1.Scooter the talking baseball from the 2004 World Series. He taught us all we know about baseball.

Thanksgiving on eBay

Ah, Thanksgiving, the time of year where we eat turkey and pretend to enjoy the company of our families.
Yes, it is a special time. There is much to celebrate and give thanks for.

We can give thanks for our health, the people we love and our great country. But, most of all, we can give thanks for eBay.

Yes, the internet auction site that is there to fulfill every dream you have. Like a genie in a magic bottle, except it can only give you other people's old junk and you have to pay shipping.
Today, let us see what Thanksgiving items are currently on eBay. I know what you are thinking: Hey! I will never get this junk by tomorrow! With the post office closed the best I can hope for is maybe I will get it by NEXT Wednesday! That is pretty stupid to sell your Thanksgiving stuff on eBay this early.

Well, to answer your question, that is not a question. Plus, I have no idea why people put their items on so late. Maybe they want to use them for one final year and THEN ship them out. Either way, here is some of the best Thanksgiving stuff on eBay:

The Forever Friends Thanksgiving coloring book and more: Yes, this brings back memories. The 'Forever Friends' with Montgomery Moose and that silly frog! Or, maybe that was the 'Get Along Gang.' Either way, for just $3.99 you can learn all about the Forever Friends! Maybe you find out the deep dark secret held by the raccoon with the checkered vest!
The title of the auction announces that it is for the coloring book 'and more', but the description doesn't tell you what 'more' they give.
The description does say that '2 pages are loose and pages have discolored.' Ugh! Maybe 'more' is what caused the discoloration. You don't want to know WHAT it is, but you will get it!

1908 Buffalo NY. Cancel Thanksgiving day postcard: Not nearly as humorous as it sounds. I pictured a humorous cartoon of a Buffalo standing in Time Square holding a sign reading 'Cancel Thanksgiving Day.' Then, underneath the cartoon a caption would read '23 Skidoo, Dewey Beats Truman, Again!'
Of course, the caption wouldn't make any sense to us because we weren’t alive in 1908. Comedy was much different then.

Yeah, that would be cool. Instead it is a rather tasteful Thanksgiving post card picturing a formal turkey dinner.

Boys' Life November 1966 Thanksgiving Edition!: For the bargain price of $1.99 you can get this gem! A copy of the Boy Scouts of America's official magazine. This cover shows a priceless photo of a boy and his dead turkey.

Sadly, this never became an NBC sitcom.

Featured articles include: The microworld, Floyd Little-Football's Mr Big, Stone Age Marathon Runners and Stalking Deer West of the Pecos.

I didn't make up those titles, but they sound COMPLETLY phony!

Let me try:
Featured articles include: Ice Station Jelly Pants, Matilda's Tiny Yard Stick hose, Astronaut mannequins and beat the FBI's kids at yogurt.
Yeah, that makes JUST as much sense.

And, finally there is the Fall/Thanksgiving Smock NWT/L: Fall/Thanksgiving! Here is someone that is late TWICE in the same title. Too late for Thanksgiving and too late for fall.

Oh well, I can't complain because I love SMOCKS. It just sounds like a dirty word. Take a look:

"After class, the art teacher made me return the smock she gave me."
"Nice smock."
"You'll need a smock if you want to stay dry!"
"I am going to wear Andy Rooney's smock."

Yes, I love a good smock. This is a grey one featuring an embroidered cornucopia. The description of the item goes into tremendous detail about the contents of the cornucopia. Most interestingly the description features the words 'VERY SEXY' in all capital letters.

Yes, sometimes the smock gets the best of us.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Target's $1 section

I like Target. It's like Wal-Mart without the gun department. Oddly enough, Target would be a more appropriate name for a store that sells firearms, but none of the locations I have been in sell them.

Still, they sell plenty of things you could kill something with, so I shop there a lot.

Recently they have added a $1 section. Similar to the dollar stores, this small section of the store offers great bargains on simple objects. Cheap DVDs, Barbie knock offs, pocket calendars etc.

I went to my local Target the other day to do a little $1 shopping!

First off, I must say, I was a little disappointed. Target has a smaller selection than a regular dollar store and much less in the way of bizarre bootleg products. I guess you could say I was disappointed with the lack of junk.

Still, I found a few winners.

First off, the Spider-man coloring book. I guess it is safe to say that Spider-man has completely sold out. Gone are the days were it was hip to mention Spider-man.

Now he is dollar store fodder.

Truthfully it is a good thing. i can honestly say I feel good about the next generation knowing they are going to grow up coloring Peter Parker.

The book isn't a bootleg, but still very little care was taken in making sure the characters were represented correctly.
This book did not tell a story, it just showed page after page of random sketches of characters from the Spider-man universe.

My favorite is the page with the confused bunny wearing the Spidey logo on his sweater. Don't feel bad, bunny, we are as confused as you. I actually feel sorry for the little bunny. I mean, without opposable thumbs he will never get that sweater off. Plus, being covered in fur, the whole thing is just overkill.

I'm calling Peta!

Next up is the toy section.

This caught my eye, a package featuring a fireman, a stop sign and either an evergreen or a chartreuse lava lamp. Best of all, the package is labeled VEHICLES.

Hmmm. Maybe it isn't a tree or a lava lamp. Perhaps it is a dented Ford Taurus.

Or maybe the tree and the stop sign RIDE ON the fireman. Maybe HE is a vehicle.

Still, it is a lousy toy set. What are you supposed to do with it? Pretend the tree is on fire, then have the firefighter put it out?
Wait! How about you make the firefighter hide behind the tree and wait for someone in a convertible to stop at the sign, then he can soak them with the firehose. What a kidder, that fireman!

Next it is the 'World Kids' dolls. Yes, the Target $1 store is like a trip to Epcot. So much culture for you and your kids to discover.

I especially like how the child from the US is depicted wearing a wife beater t-shirt and pajama bottoms.

Finally, just one dollar at Target will make all your co-workers think you have a drinking problem. What better way to get others to whisper about you behind your back than with a dollars worth of liquor flavored coffee.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Planet Hollywood NYC

Times Square

It is named after the New York Times, a paper that no longer resides in the square.
After the Times moved out of Times Square, the city thought about remaining it, but than they realized it wasn't actually a square, either. So, Times Square is phony.

Being phony, it is the perfect address for a restaurant devoted to the phoniest business in the world (next to being a psychic) MOVIE MAKING.

Yes, Planet Hollywood. Devoted to the worlds of acting, special effects and props.

They also serve food.

I always like going to Planet Hollywood. The one in Time Square is one of the smallest locations and lacks the grand entrance of some of the bigger locations (like Orlando) but there is still plenty to see here.

Entering from the street, you walk into the merchandise sales shop. They have the standard souvenir stuff, T-Shirts, magnets etc. The best stuff, however, are the items featuring Mr. Hollywood, the Planet Hollywood mascot. He looks like Stevie Wonder with a globe for a head.

From the gift shop you can walk up to the restaurant.

By the stairs they have large full size photos of paparazzi. Lights flash (simulating flash bulbs) and a recording plays. The recording says things like "Hey! One more picture!" and "You look fabulous!"
As I walked up the ramp I instinctively shouted back "leave me alone, you vultures! I am just going to get something to eat! You killed Princess Diana and George Clooney!"
Then I gave them the finger went home to see if I was on Access Hollywood.

As you head into the restaurant, you see the reason people go to Planet Hollywood: REALLY AWESOME MOVIE PROPS.

Literally hundreds of props and wardrobe are scattered throughout the store. Large displays surround the tables and hang from the ceiling. It is really cool to just walk around and look at all the walls. Then, as you try to eat and strangers keep leaning over your pasta to see Vanessa William's wallet from Eraser. At that point you realize how annoying you were just moments ago as you wandered the restaurant. It's a great 'circle of life' thing.

The exhibits at Planet Hollywood rotate often, but there are many that seem to be on permanent display here in NYC. First, there is Stallone's car from
. For fans of the movie (good God, I hope I am not the only one) this is a REALLY cool prop. It perches on the wall, hanging dangerously over the hostess station.

Also on hand is a great big display is a wall of movie weapons. Everything from wacky contraptions from The Mask to machine guns from Jurassic park III.

Speaking of Dinosaurs, one of the newer displays features many dinosaur props. There is a head of a Jurassic Park velocaraptor and dinosaur models from Clifford (not the Big Red Dog, the 1994 movie where Martin Short plays a 10 year old.)
Also in the case is a pair of alien hands from the 1994 film The Stupids. They are incorrectly labeled as dinosaur hands.
Perhaps they didn't think anyone would notice. Or, maybe they were just too busy trying to keep people from being crushed by Cobra's car to worry about accuracy.

On the walls video monitors play montages of scenes from Hollywood hits. For example, a montage of scenes involving motorcycles set to "Born to Be Wild." I would have liked to see a series of people eating BETTER food than Planet Hollywood serves with the "Red Lobster" jingle playing over top of them.

Actually, they do serve some good stuff. My favorite is the 'Chicken Crunch' an appetizer of chicken tenders coated with Cap'n Crunch.

They are known, however, for their signature drinks. Stuff like the Unbreakable Bloody Mary and the Home Alone smoothie. The smoothie is non-alcoholic, but hey the kid was home alone! What's to stop him from raiding the liquor cabinet?

All in all, I recommend Planet Hollywood. It is the strangest restaurant in Times Square (now that WWF New York is closed down. Plus where else can you eat dinner while looking up Supergirl's skirt?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Stitch's Great Escape

A new attraction just opened in Walt Disney World's Tommorowland.

Stitch's Great Escape.

Stitch, the furry blue star of the 2002 feature Lilo and Stitch, took over the real estate previously occupied by Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter.

Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter had the spookiest name of all Disney attractions since the early days of Disneyland. Back then, the Dumbo ride was officially called 'Dumbo and the Four Elephants of the Apocalypse That Will Rise Up and Stomp Your Children to a Bloody Pulp.' A few years later the name was shortened to 'Dumbo.'

In the movie Stitch was an alien genetic experiment gone wrong. Virtually indestructible, the little monster was imprisoned, but escaped to Hawaii.
One hour and fifteen minutes later, Stitch is lovable and destined to live the rest of his life in Hawaii, disguised as a dog.

The ride, however, is a prequel.

I flew to Florida yesterday JUST to see this ride. Now I am doing an article about it JUST so I can write it off on my taxes.

I expect to get 5-10 years in prison for tax fraud. Then, upon my release I plan to head back to Walt Disney World to haunt Stitch just like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear (although I won't do that whole 'laughing at Problem Child' scene he did. There are some things even I won't stoop to.

There were many signs up around the attraction in Stitch's language.

You can get a decoder online to decode the message. This one said:
This Galactic Federation
Prisoner Teleport Center is
hereby dedicated to the
preservation of peace and
harmony throughout the
galaxy by protecting the
nice from the naughty
The Grand Councilwoman
2004 November 16

Hey maybe I can get a job at the UN as the Stitch interpreter. Then, when the IRS comes, I can claim diplomatic immunity. I can also curse at my dry cleaner in a foreign language!

As for the attraction, I went two days AFTER the opening day, hoping to avoid the opening day crowds. Still, when I got there the Fast Passes had been handed out for the day. The wait time was 60 minutes.

So I made friends with a handicapped person and we went to the front of the line. Unfortunately, now I have to make a dish for the 'Handi-capable Pot Luck Dinner' in Tampa next week.

The attraction is very similar to Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter; in fact, it is almost the same attraction.

Let's take a look at the two:

Neither is a ride in the traditional sense, instead it is an animatronic show featuring 3D audio and sound and preceded by two six minute pre-shows.

Takes place in front of a wall of video monitors. Gives you the illusion that you are done waiting in line, even though you are still in line.

AE (Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter):
We are introduced to a race of aliens played by Kevin Pollock, Kathy Najimy and Jeffrey "Eddie Barzoon" Jones.
I think they are from the planet W.N.W.T.W.B.N.O.W.R.U.I.T.M. (We Needed Work This Week, Besides No One Will Recognize Us In This Makeup.)

In this pre show we are introduced to a new group of aliens. This time they are animated from Lilo and Stitch. This takes place just before the events of the movie.
We, the audience, are recruits from an intergalactic security force.

This pre-show consist of Animtronic robots. Standing room only

We meet a robot named S.I.R (voiced by Tim Curry.) he tells us he is going to teleport a small furry alien named Skippy from one side of the room to the other. He does and poor little Skippy gets burned in the process. Clearly this teleport tube thing needs some work.

Skippy is still in his tube, but this time it is a prisoner transfer tube. S.I.R. is now called Sgt. 90210 and he is a wisecracking wacky robot. Soon after his introduction we are told that a high level prisoner is being transported to the main chamber.

You are ushered into a large circular theater with a giant tube in the center. Shoulder harnesses are lowered, giving you the impression you will be moving, but you never do.

AE: One of the aliens is going to transport himself into the room, but something went wrong and a giant Predator-like creature appears in the tube. The lights go out and people are terrified as the alien EATS the tourists! You feel the alien's breath on your neck as he walks past you.

STITCH: After about ten minutes of being told to move to the END of the row, everyone FINALLY moves to the end of the row.
Tourists are stupid. No wonder the Predator ate them.

Next, Stitch is transported into the room and he is being shadowed by two laser cannons. The cannons are locked on his DNA signal. So, he spits into the crowd and the cannons shoot at the tourist. Nothing actually happens to the tourists, it's just a light effect, unfortunately.
Then the lights go out, and Stitch starts wandering around the theater. Your harness moves up and down to give the effect that he is bumping into you. This effect coupled with the 3D surround sound makes the show amazing.

Then you hear Stitch argue with a woman who is eating a chili dog. He steals the chili dog and eats it. He burps and you feel his breath across your neck. Then you SMELL the chili dog! It is like hanging around with my crazy Uncle Jake. Man, is he gassy!

Overall, the attraction was a lot of fun. If you like Stitch you will like it. If you liked Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter you will like it. And, if you like chili dogs you will like it.

Hey! Maybe that is what I can bring to the Pot Luck Dinner!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Hollywood Sign Part 1

In 1923 a real estate developer erected the Hollywood Sign on the top of Mt. Lee overlooking the city of Hollywood.

The Hollywood Sign is still there today, but has gone through many changes over the years.

The sign was actually originally a marketing ploy for the Hollywoodland Real Estate company. It was sort of a giant billboard.

In fact, it was considered the WORLD'S LARGEST SIGN.

Today, the world's largest sign is Fred Sine of Toledo Ohio. Fred weighs over 650 lbs. He is very sensitive about it, so if you see him- DON'T MENTION HIS WEIGHT! I prefer to pretend there is something in my eye and then run away.

Then, I stop running because at 650 lbs., it is unlikely he could catch up with me if I was moonwalking away.

Oh, that Fred! What a card.

The sign originally read 'Hollywoodland' and was only designed to last a few years. It had been put together from giant sheets of roofing metal with holes punched into it to cut down wind resistance.

Originally the sign was lit up at night with THOUSANDS of light bulbs. In fact, there was a man who lived in a small house behind the sign whose job was to replace the lights that burned out on a daily basis.

Today that man lives on the lot at Disney studios where his job is to draw a light bulb over Donald Duck's head every time Donald has an idea.

In 1949 the sign and the land surrounding it was given to the city of Hollywood. The letters 'L-A-N-D' were taken down and the sign received some repairs. Still, time was not kind to the sign and by the 1970's it was in bad shape.

When the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce approached Rock Legend Alice Cooper, asking him to sign T-Shirts to help raise money for a new sign, Alice suggested a better way to replace the sign. For $28,000 anyone could sponsor a letter.

At the press conference on Sunset Boulevard, Alice wore a shirt spelling his name in iron-on letters. After he spoke, he ripped off one of the ‘O’s, and said he was giving his O to the sign, which was missing one.

City officials then explained to him that an iron-on letter would be much too small and that he would have to give the $28,000 to buy a real letter.

Then, one of the officials joked "You should have given the 'A', then your name would be Lice."

Alice laughed and said "There is no 'I' in 'TEAM' and no 'A' in 'Hollywood.'" Then he bit the man on the neck and drank his blood before flying back to his crypt.

Other donors included Hugh Hefner, Gene Autry and Andy Williams.

The new sign is much sturdier, weighing 480,000 pounds. The sign sits in 194 tons of concrete and is made of sheet metal.

The old sign, however, is making a comeback.

After it was taken down, the original sign was sold to a private collector and put into a large warehouse. The collector, Hank Berger, had sold a few thousand small pieces of the sign back in the 1970s. After that he put the whole thing into a warehouse.

Recently, the sign was sold to a producer named Don Bliss. This weekend Bliss put large sections of the sign on eBay. The bidding is in the thousands for each of the five pieces.

I am saving my money to buy a piece of Fred.

The Ghost of the Hollywood Sign!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Three's Company Pilot

Three's Company had 3 pilots. Not airline pilots, but TV PILOTS.

However, maybe a show called Three's Company about three airline pilots living in an apartment in Santa Monica California would have been funny.

Three's Company (the airline pilot show)

Jack walks into the apartment. Janet and Chrissy are sitting on the couch.

Hi Jack! How was your flight?

Horrible. I had trouble with the vertical stabilizers and I needed to land with pilotage.

Jeez. That's too bad. I flew a sailplane last week and the yaw was so out of line I felt like I was on a tailwheel.

MR. ROPER enters.

Well, if anyone knows about tailwheel, it's Jack!

Roper mugs for the camera. Jack falls over the couch and Chrissy and Janet laugh.

Oh, what could have been!

Anyway, the REAL Three's Company had three pilots. In case you don't know what pilots are, they are first episodes that are shot with the intention of selling the show to a network.

Many pilots don't make it to TV. Others, like Three's Company, are shot and then changed substantially before they make it to television.

For example, The Gilligan's Island pilot featured Gilligan, The Skipper, The Howells AND A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER AND TWO SECRETARIES.

The pilot for the A-Team featured a different actor as Templeton Peck.

Finally, in the pilot for ALF, ALF was the Tanner's elderly Chinese Grandfather who liked classical music.

OK, I made that up.

Anyway, the DVD set of Three's Company season two features the first of two failed pilots for Three's Company. The third pilot was picked up by the network and aired as the first episode.

You may remember it. In that pilot Janet and Chrissy find Jack asleep in their bathtub and are so thrilled with his cooking that they decide to ask him to be their roommate. To get Mr. Roper to go along with the arrangement, they tell him Jack is gay.

The first pilot follows almost the same plot with some changes. Let's take a look:

The show starts off with a different opening credit sequence. They show the front of the "Hacienda Palms" apartment building in North Hollywood (I am not sure if such a building ever existed, I can't find it in today's apartment guide.)
This simple shot of the building was much different than the
funny montages later credit sequences included.

I suppose the lyrics to the theme song had not yet been written, so instead people just babble "doo dee doo" back and forth like a couple of toddler's in a shouting match.

Oddly enough, this version of the song sounded very similar to the finished version of the We Got It Made theme.

Then we see the Three's Company apartment. It was pretty neat to see, because it was basically the exact same set, with the same furniture and wall hangings, but everything was in a different place.

One wall of the apartment was covered in HIDEOUS pink flowery wallpaper.

Valerie Curtin played Jenny in the pilot, and Suzanne Zenor played Samantha. Jenny was the brunette and Samantha was the blonde, but both were very different than Janet and Chrissy. In the first scene Jenny talks about how they had a wild party the night before. Samantha says that she almost performed a striptease at the party (dialogue that Janet had in the final pilot.)

Then they find David Bell sleeping in their bathtub. No, not the Phillies' third baseman, this was Jack Tripper's NAME in the pilot. David was played by John Ritter who sports a much shorter haircut in the pilot than he did in the series.

For some reason, while watching the pilot I was struck by how much John Ritter looked like Rowdy Roddy Piper.

The Hollywood locale, rather than Santa Monica (which is 20 minutes west of Hollywood) is mentioned a lot, and both David and Samantha are trying to break into the film business.

Samantha's best part was in a religious commercial, David once played Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland.

The Ropers are played by the same actors as they were in the series, but they have different FIRST names. Rather than being Helen and Stanley they were George and Mildred.

The plot of the pilot ends up the same way, with Roper convinced that David is gay and David moving in as a roommate.

Overall, it was interesting to see. Perhaps the show would have been JUST as popular with these two cast mates and maybe it would be Suzanne Zenor that tried to sell you a Tummy-Sizer in the 1990s. Maybe it would have been a forgotten show that lasted just a few episodes.

Either way, it was a really cool DVD feature. If only it had starred Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Soy Bomb

At the 1998 Grammy Awards Bob Dylan performed the song "Love Sick." The song is a ballad featuring lyrics like "the clouds are weeping" and "I'm sick of love." On stage Dylan was surrounded by a half dozen or so twenty-somethings wearing all black. What happened next would shock and confuse a nation.

Suddenly one of the on stage spectators jumped up and tore off his shirt. On his chest were the words "Soy Bomb." The spectator, Michael Portnoy, then started dancing like a crazy man. Dylan was playing a slow tempo track and Portnoy was dancing like a crazed Danny Ortega with a massive sugar high.

Interestingly, Dylan paid no attention to him. Dylan just kept singing about how the clouds were weeping and barely even glanced at the nutcase next to him. This is probably why it took so long for security to act. Instead of the usual five seconds it takes them to hustle an interloper off stage it took over THIRTY.

You know, I could care less if anyone else likes this article. I am just proud to have been able to use the word 'interloper' on! This has been one of my lifelong goals. Now all I have to do is walk on stilts and hit Will Smith in the face with a pie, and I can die a happy man.

I may even make a feature length motion picture and call it Interloper. But, it won't be about Michael Portnoy and his "Soy Bomb" nonsense. Instead, it will be a sci-fi thriller starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

INTERLOPER 30 second trailer

NARRATOR: It is the biggest space ship of all time,
MAN: Wow! Look at that space ship.
VAN DAMME: That's no ship, that's the Interloper.
MAN: Wow!
(Van Damme rips off his shirt and then kicks the man in the head. Suddenly MORK approaches Van Damme)
MORK: Nah nu nah nu!

Well, maybe it needs work.

So, Portnoy dances next to Dylan for 30 seconds and is then removed from the stage. Soon, every where around the world people are wondering "who is Soy Bomb?" Well, he was a man named Michael Portnoy. Hmmm, I probably should have saved that information so that would have been a better reveal.

After being pulled off stage Portnoy called his dance "an act of pure revolution." He claimed the dance would lead him to superstardom and that he was a multi-genre performance artist. In other words, he is an idiot.

Finally, he explained the words 'soy bomb' to mean "sort of life and death and explosion." Well, maybe he isn't such an idiot, after all.

Nah nu nah nu!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room

One of the oldest Disneyland attractions is the Enchanted Tiki Room. The Tiki Room is a small building that looks like something out of Gilligan's Island. Inside you get the same kind of entertainment as Gilligan's Island (and you won't have to answer any uncomfortable questions about why Gilligan and Skipper wear their shoes to bed.)

The show is 17 minutes long and features 250 singing birds. The stars of the show are Fritz, Jose, Michael, and Pierre. They are all birds and all of them speak in comical accents and tell jokes.

The seats are all underneath the animatronic birds. The birds wake up soon start a musical review the likes of which have not been seen since... well 17 minutes ago when the last show started. Actually, the show is quite dated, but still holds its charm. The birds sing cute songs and then the tiki gods are angered and they make it rain. That may not sound like much of a wrath, but remember: in So Cal, they have a lot of mudslides.

So, the rain stops and you exit.

When Walt Disney World opened, the Enchanted Tiki Room was one of the attractions to be created. Audiences today, however, have a DIFFERENT Tiki Room.

Before the show, in the waiting area, you see two birds (voiced by Phil Hartman and Don Rickles) who say that they represent the NEW MANAGEMENT at the Tiki Room.

The best exchange of the pre-show goes a little like this:

Rickles: My client is a very big bird.
Phil: Your client is Big Bird!

That cracked me up! Then, I started imagining the possibilities. Big Bird is a huge star but lacks the finances to effectively force hostile take over of the Disney Corporation.
But, the Tiki Room? Big Bird could take over the establishment and take apart the company from the inside.

Of course, Big Bird would probably get distracted when someone mentions the letter "Q" and he would spend so long thinking about "Q" words that he would forget about his plans for domination of the children's entertainment market.

The new version starts in the same fashion as the old version, but soon is interrupted by Iago from Aladdin. He introduces himself as the new co-manager of the Tiki Room. Iago complains that the show has gotten old and dull. Then the OTHER new co-manager shows up, Zasu from the Lion King. Zasu tells him NOT to change the show. After that they join in and sing a few songs from their respective movies.

The new show is funny, but I still prefer the old version. Just don't tell Big Bird.

Posted by Guy Hutchinson
Guy Hutchinson
Guy Hutchinson

Monday, November 08, 2004

Daredevil and his dinosaur

I found this toy on the shelf at the local Dollar General. I absolutely LOVE these dollar store toys. Let us take a good look at him.
On the top of the package we get a photo of Spider-man taken from the poster of the Sony Pictures film, based on the Marvel comic book. To the right of the package is a photo of Antonio Banderas as Zorro. This is from the Columbia/Tri-Star Studios release of Mask of Zorro. I am not sure, but he appears to be standing in front of the U.S. Capitol building.
In the center is the logo from Batman Forever with the word "Regalia" superimposed on it.
The action figure is the Marvel comic icon Daredevil and he comes with a dinosaur accessory.
The dinosaur does not contain a Jurassic Park logo, but let's be honest. When people think 'dinosaur' they think of two things: Jurassic Park and Ted Kennedy.
So judging by the sheer number of copyrighted images blended together, this is either a case of amazing corporate cooperation, or some copyright violations slapped on a piece of junk from China.

Interesting that the word "Regalia" seems to be the name of the company that released this figure. Regalia means 'royal estates and revenues.' Yup, Regalia loosely means 'royalties' WHICH REGALIA OBVIOUSLY ISN'T PAYING!!!!

So, here is the dollar store Daredevil figure. The first thing you may notice is that Daredevil has a large set of red propeller blades protruding from his neck.
I must admit I have not read much of the comic, but I am SURE Ben Affleck never sprouted 'neck propellers' in the movie.

The next thing you are likely to notice about Daredevil is the thing protruding from his groin.

I don't know how else to put this... DAREDEVIL has a weenie!

Yikes! Before we go any further, I ask this question: HOW DID THIS GET PAST THE ASSEMBLY LINE???? I know it was made in China, but they should be just as concerned about making children's toys with WEENIES!!!

I can imagine what the development session went like:

MAN #1: We have the mold ready for Regalia's latest figure: Daredevil.
MAN #2: It looks O.K., but it needs something.
MAN #3: Add some propellers around his neck.
MAN #1: WHAT?? Propellers around the neck? Why don't we just give him a weenie, too, and call it a day.
MAN #2: Sounds good to me. Add a weenie and propellers. Now, let’s all go to my place and watch 'The Littlest Groom.'
MAN #1: I'll bring some toast and Nutella.
MAN #2: I wasn't inviting you.
MAN #1: Oh. Sorry.

Here are the instructional diagrams off the package (from bottom to top):

Step 1: Daredevil mounts his dinosaur sticking his weenie into a corresponding hole in the back of the dinosaur. I think I am going to be sick.

Step 2: Pull the cord in the back of the dinosaur.

Step 3: Daredevil flies upward.

Step 4: Daredevil flies upward.

You may think that step 4 is redundant, but it is not. I tried this and JEEZ, THIS SUCKER FLYS! It shot off the dinosaur so fast and with such force that it put a dent in the ceiling the size of my big toe. Wow.

This may very well be the most dangerous toy I have ever seen. Not to mention that the toy is full of sharp edges and parts that break off easily. As a matter of fact on Daredevil's second voyage, he hit a tree and his arm fell off.

At least his weenie stayed on.

Viva La Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution.

You may not know what it is by name, but I am sure you have seen it. At malls, Chuck E. Cheeses and bedrooms of nerds everywhere there is Dance Dance Revolution.

Dance Dance Revolution or DDR to those who don't have time for all those friggin' syllables, is a video game where users stand on a pad and coordinate their movements to arrows on the screen. Sorta like Simon, only for your feet.

By Simon, I meant the 1980's handheld memory game, not the nerdy brother on Alvin and the Chipmunks. JEEZ! GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER AND STOP THINKING OF SIMON'S FEET!

Anyway, in this game you follow the arrows, making you look kind of like you are dancing. In all honesty, players don't exactly look like they are DANCING, more like an uncoordinated, epileptic Steve Urkel- who really has to pee.

You may have seen DDR on the show King of the Hill. The game was in the episode where Cotton and the family went to Japan. While in Japan, Bobby is introduced to the game.
Or, you may have seen the episode of The Simpsons where Homer has a pet lobster named Pinchy and he walks him on a leash like a pet dog. There was no DDR in that episode, but The Simpsons is a much better show than King of the Hill.

WALKING A LOBSTER! That still makes me laugh!

Basic game play is simple, music plays (home versions have about 60 tracks) as on screen arrows tell you where to move your feet. Behind the arrows, there is a bunch of strange imagery. Everything from digital chipmunks to demon teddy bears. Sadly, Simon wasn't one of the digital chipmunks.

On Saturday, I witnessed an attempt to establish a Guinness World Record at DDR.

Guinness had not yet listed a record for constant play of this game, but certainly there is room in the book for it. Perhaps it can go on the page between the photo of the guy with 8 inch fingernails that look like giant Fritos and the photo of the two fat twins on motorcycles.

Getting a record attempt sanctioned is not an easy task. First, you contact Guinness and ask for permission.

If permission is granted, they set rules. In this case, the act must be performed in a public place with witnesses rotating in 4 hour shifts and under the supervision of medical personnel.

Oddly enough, these were the same restrictions that Viagra put on Bob Dole's sex life after he was signed as their spokesman.

Peter Ogden, a 21 year old Princeton NJ resident who decided to make an attempt at immortality.
Rather than take the route of dancing awkwardly next to Bob Dylan with the words "Soy Bomb" painted on his chest he decided to play DDR for 24 hours straight.

Starting at 12pm on Saturday November 6th, Peter was scheduled to move constantly (except for a couple fifteen minute breaks) on the DDR pad until Sunday at 12:30pm.

The first few hours it seemed relatively easy, less movement than one would exhibit during a trip to the grocery store - that is if you dance like a drunken Gerardo when you shop for your Cap'n Crunch.

After about 5 hours, Peter started to feel some pain in his legs, but he was in good spirits again after the mandatory break at 8pm. I am sure Bob Dole was too.

Around 3am things became very difficult. The half dozen or so spectators (including Justin Lunetta who stayed the WHOLE time!) ceased to have any interesting words of encouragement and instead said things like:

"Is THAT all you have to do?"
"Why are you stopping after JUST 24 hours?"
"You know, you're starting to smell."
and "Who is the Bob Dole he keeps babbling about? Was he one of the Village People?"

Speaking of which, the music started to get more and more annoying over the hours. After the 12th time, no one really wanted to spell the letters to 'YMCA' over their head anymore. Even those that did were doing the sloppiest 'M's I have seen since my two fat twin cousins dressed as M&M candies last Halloween. Hmmmm, maybe we should have put them on motorcycles.

Some of the more eclectic song choices, like 'Never Ending Story,' were also starting to get old.
As a side note, most of the songs on DDR are covers, sounding less and less like the original artist each time you hear it.
When you hear "Do You Believe In Life After Love" THAT many times, you start to believe that the singer is trying to impersonate SONNY BONO rather than Cher.

As the sun came up, Peter started to feel constant pain in his legs and feet. On the next 15 minute break, he noticed the soles of his feet had turned black as the ink from the DDR pad wore off on him. Still, every 2 minutes the TV would bellow "ARE YOU READY" and each time he was ready.

Soon, it was inevitable- he was going to make it. Eventually, at 12:30 he hit the 24 hour mark and stumbled off the pad like and old man who had just... uh... well, let's just say he stumbled off the pad like Bob Dole!

After the mandatory fifteen minute break he stepped back on the pad to finish the 1 o'clock hour. He established the record; to bad he didn't do it next to Bob Dylan.

Facts about the attempt:

Ending at 1pm, he had gone for 24 hours and 15 minutes.

The previous (non-sanctioned) record holder claimed to have played DDR for 21 hours.

Peter scored roughly 6 trillion points.

First song 'Diving' by 4 Strings, on DDR Extreme.

Last song 'D2R' by Naoki off DDR Max 2

During the attempt, Peter failed 3 songs out of approximately 2800.

His smallest combo was 5.

Largest combo was 987.

Peter broke a sweat at 1:52 pm Saturday.

100 songs had played by 2:44pm Saturday.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Fraidy Cat

I love dollar stores. They are always good for browsing. You find bizarre things like bootleg Mickey Mouse handbags to toothpaste from the Republic of Ghana. One of my new favorite dollar store items is the dollar store DVD.

This is truly a treasure trove of obscure nonsense. A mad hodpodge of old TV shows, really bad movies and old cartoons.

On my last trip I settled on the cartoons.

I bought four DVDs on the "Treasure Box" label Woody Woodpecker, Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman.

All of the DVD's promise 90 minutes of cartoons but offer one caveat: the phrase "and other cartoon treasures."

See, if you thought your Betty Boop DVD would be 90 minutes of the big headed, black and white, cartoon babe, you are going to be disappointed. Instead, you get one Betty Boop cartoon followed by Little Lulu, Baby Huey and 8 Popeye cartoons.

Oddly enough, the Popeye DVD only had 2 Popeye cartoons. So you get MORE Popeye cartoons by buying the Betty Boop DVD.

The Superman DVD was my favorite. First the DVD featured three Superman cartoons. Simple stuff, really. Awesome animation, mechanical monsters and Clark Kent turning into Superman. Still, it was the cartoon that came next that caught my eye.

Fraidy Cat.

You probably don't remember Fraidy, he was part of a show called The Groovie Goolies and Friends. Fraidy was featured in his own 6 minute block. Nine episodes of Fraidy Cat were produced, and ALL NINE are on the Superman DVD.

Choo-Choo Fraidy
Magic Numbers
A Small Star Is Born
Fraidy Gone Fishing
Fraidy Come Home
Double Trouble
Unlucky Fraidy
This Cat for Hire
Culture Schlock

Take a look at those titles! 'A SMALL Star Is Born' and 'FRAIDY Come Home.' These are HYSTERICAL satires of famous movies and TV shows. Too bad the show wasn't around long enough to have an episode called "The Fraidy's Man." Unfortunately the show didn't last long enough to satirize that great Saturday Night Live flick.

Anyway, Fraidy Cat was produced by Filmation in 1976 and told the story of a cat. Like all cats, Fraidy had nine lives. Sadly he already used up 8 of them. So, now he is terrified of dying.

Sounds simple, right? Well, how about this for a hook: whenever Fraidy says number 1through 8, one of his ghosts appears.

The ghosts are all colorful characters, #1 is a fat cat that rides on a dinosaur, #8 is a swinging hep cat. He also has a snobby British ghost, a pirate ghost and a cowboy gunslinger ghost. Think of it as a dead feline Village People.

Having ghosts could come in handy, but Fraidy avoids the ghosts, because they usually mess things up when they appear. Worse, yet, when Fraidy says #9, a cloud comes after him shooting lightening bolts.

The shows were absurd and funny. I especially liked the Godfather satire featuring a mafia cat called The Grandfather.

I also like my Republic of Ghana toothpaste. Too bad they don't have fluoride there.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Run DMC'S Hit It Run

Run DMC is perhaps the greatest rap group of all time. They put out many great albums over the years, but perhaps their greatest was Raising Hell.

Raising Hell was released in 1986, and introduced Run DMC to the suburbs of America. It contained many of the trio’s biggest hits including 'Walk This Way', 'It's Tricky' and 'Peter Piper.' Soon everybody wanted to know more about Run DMC.
The Delorian Motor Car company had to hire extra receptionists to answer the phone and tell callers they 'weren't the SAME D.M.C., they didn't know Run, and Jam Master Jay wasn't actually made out of jam.

One of the other hits from Raising Hell was a cut called 'Hit It Run' (To listen to a sample click here.)

'Hit It Run' was a quintessential Run DMC track. It featured fun lyrics, a fast beat and the booming voices of Run and DMC. Let's take a look at those lyrics:

Born to rock around the clock
You can't say I'm not
And in case you forgot

So, from birth he was destined to rock around the clock (TAKE THAT Bill Haley and your Comets.) Remember, you are NOT ALLOWED to say he wasn't born to rock around the clock!
So, I won’t be accusing him of NOT rocking around the clock, but I do want to examine the claim.
AROUND THE CLOCK!!! Wow. All day, and all night! No sleep. Hmmm. What would be the effects of 'rocking around the clock?'

According to the New England Journal of Medicine "With decreased sleep, higher-order cognitive tasks are affected early and disproportionately. Tests requiring both speed and accuracy demonstrate considerably slowed speed before accuracy begins to fail."

Not to mention the destruction that would be caused to the throat and lungs. Shame he rocks around the block, he would probably rock better if he took a break every 8 hours or so.

Then again, perhaps he just means that he rocks around a large clock.
I'm the devastating mic controller D.M.C.
And can't nobody mess around with me
I'm the king of rock, rap, and a rhyme
I deal what I feel and it feels fine

Wow! ALREADY twice they have announced themselves as the 'King of Rock.' WE GET IT!
If the girl's ?? chase then I will play
around with sound put down for the rhymes I say
Beats flow from Joe and never stop

Beats flow from Joe? AND NEVER STOP???? Maybe Joe needs to cut back on the fiber.
Better get yourself together let's rock, HIT IT RUN!

You, jump, watch you clock, while I rock your spot
I'm better known to the world as the King of Rock
I like to speak my piece when I'm on the mic
I'm the best, or at least, I'm the one you like
And when I serve you deserve to hear what I say
I throw a curve he got the nerve to make a triple play
Now how devastating can an MC be?
My name is Darryl, but you can call me D, HIT IT RUN!

"Watch you clock"??? What does that mean? Perhaps he IS just rocking around a large clock.

Note, this is the THIRD time he has proclaimed himself the King of Rock. He seems almost defensive about it at this point. Perhaps he ISN'T technically the King of Rock. Maybe ROCK isn't a monarchy at all. Perhaps Rock has a more democratic government and Run DMC were just freshman Congressmen trying to make a name for themselves.

Now how devastating can an MC be? I am dying to know!!! Maybe we should ask that owl from the Tootsie Roll commercials. You know, the one that says it takes only three licks to get to the center or a Tootsie Roll Pop. Then he could bite D on the nose.

Speaking of which, I am glad he has told us we can call him 'D.' This makes him my third favorite 'D' right after Dee Snider and Dee from What's Happening.

It's called, gangsta hard rock, non-stop hip-hop
And it's headed for the top by the rhymes I pop
For every race place color country county or creed
and all of the places that I emceed
B-Boy badness to the highest degree
And it can't be a boy unless you be D

And it can't be a boy unless you be D!!!
Hmmmm. So only D, Dee Snider and Dee from What's Happening were ever boys. Everyone else is forbidden by Run DMC from being boys. Remember that movie For The Boys starring Bette Midler? It should have been called For The D's.
You can't bust a cherry or crush a grape
and if you ain't got this tape you're in bad shape

You are in worse shape if your name aint D.
Beats flow from Joe and never stop
Better get yourself together, let's ROCK!

Do.. you.. really believe what's going on
I was conceived and I was born
I once was lost but now I'm found
Tell your bunch I'm boss I run this town
I leave all suckers, in the dust
Those dumb mother______ can't mess with us

Whoa! Where did THAT come from? I though we were having a good time here! Then he starts talking about being lost, and now being found- I though he was quoting scripture.

Beats flow from Joe and never stop
Better get yourself together, let's rock, HIT IT RUN!

I.. was.. straight from the start performin art
Climbin up the chart while others fall apart
The three outlaws in the music trade
We won't rob but our job is to get paid
Cause Run has fun if Jay will play

Facts revealed in the last verse:
He was 'straight from the start.' The man isn't gay.
He actually climbs the chart and they are outlaws.
He has seen other people fall apart (lepers???)
He is employed just to get paid. No wonder he has time to write this stuff.
When Jay is playing, Run has fun. Wheeeeeee! I wonder if they play on the teeter totter?
As I add one more rhyme to say
Now how devastating can an MC be?
My name is Darryl, but you can call me D, HIT IT RUN!

I was born
son of Byford, brother of AL
Bad as my mamma and Run's my pal
It's McDaniels, not McDonald's
These rhymes are Darryl's, the burgers are RONALD'S
I ran down, my family tree
My mother, my father, my brother and D

His mamma is BAD? That is a strange thing to say!!! I am pleased to see that they don't run McDonalds, but I was pretty sure of that already.
Their job is to get paid, not run a multinational fast food establishment.

Collision Course

Collision Course is a buddy cop film starring Jay Leno and Pat Morita.

You know, I could just end the article there and I would have done my job. People would be laughing so hard that milk would come out of their noses. Even people who were lactose intolarant would be chugging milk just so it could come out of their noses. Hindu clerics who are bound by their religion NOT to drink milk from a cow would switch and become southern Baptist just so they could partake in the nose milk thing (and because Baptists churches always look like fun in the movies.)

Yes, the phrase "Collision Course is a buddy cop film starring Jay Leno and Pat Morita" is comedy.

But Collision Course itself, THAT is another story!

The plot of the film is very formulaic. Think of Rush Hour with Jay Leno playing the Chris Tucker part. Now think of Chris Tucker playing Woody Allen's part in Annie Hall. WOULDN'T THAT BE A RIOT!!!

Now picture Chris Tucker as President Woodrow Wilson's Chief of Staff.

WOODROW WILSON: Chris, what should I do to lower the tariffs on the good people of our nation?
CHRIS: Sir, pass the Underwood Act. America deserves it.
WOODROW WILSON: Now, how about a back rub.
CHRIS: Take off your shirt, I will get the linament.

Hmmm, I guess that is just disturbing.

Speaking of which: Jay Leno plays a racist cop in Collision Course.

But, he is a LOVABLE racist cop. See, Jay doesn't like the 'japs.' Does that word make you uncomfortable? If so, Collision Coruse is not for you. If it doesn't, you're a jerk.
See, Jay's cop uses words like 'japs' constantantly as he plays Tony a Detroit cop paired up with Morita's Fuji Natsuo.

Fuji has come over from Japan to look for a turbocharger prototype that is belived to be in the area. So, Tony and Fuji are partners. Along the way they face all the same problems that most buddy cops do. By the end of the movie, you guessed it, they learned how to get along and opened their hearts to each others culture.

The film was almost completely unnoticed upon release, due to a very delayed released due to financial problems. Still, it is available at many video stores and on eBay. Go check it out, and bring your milk.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Billy Beer

Jimmy Carter was one of the most unique Presidents of the modern era. He was younger than many of his predecessors and was the first U. S. President to born in a hospital.

Prior to Carter, all presidents had been born in the ladies room at the Denny's about 10 minutes north of the White House. If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit.

Jimmy was a down to earth guy, he sent his daughter to public school, he spoke in a relaxed tone, heck, he even let us call him Jimmy!

Still, as down to earth as Jimmy was, Billy was something else.

Billy Carter was the younger brother of the president. He was a political embarrassment to the president on many occasions. He had two scandals involving his friends in the Libyan government and a dubiously achieved loan. Both of these scandals are worth looking into, but hard to mine for cheap laughs.

Billy Beer is another story.

Billy had a drinking problem. He was drunk in public often and routinely made talk show appearances holding a beer in his hand.

So, someone decided to capitalize on his notoriety and make him the mascot for Billy Beer.

The beer was marketed by four different breweries and sold well as a novelty. Cans were emblazoned with the name 'Billy' and the phrase "I had this beer brewed up just for me... I think it's the best beer I ever tasted... and I have tasted a lot... I think you will like it too... Billy Carter."

Trouble was, no one liked the taste of the beer. Even Billy was said to prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon.

That is like Ronald McDonald saying he prefers Arbys.

Or the owner of an Arbys saying that he likes... Arbys.

So, with dwindling sales and millions of beers produced, tons of Billy Beers have been stored for resale.

Owners, who had hoped to one day resell the beers for enough money to buy their own Arbys, were stuck with cases of useless beers.

Today, Billy Beer is worth about 25 cents a can. That's the price for a can in perfect shape. Still, many people have been duped into buying them for much more as con artists have placed ads in newspapers and on eBay hawking the cans as rare collectables.

Perhaps Arby's should do that with their Roast Beef sandwich.

Monday, November 01, 2004

John Kerry: Son of a Girl Scout Leader

John F. Kerry was born on December 11, 1943 at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Colorado. His father, Richard, volunteered in the Army Air Corps and flew DC-3's, B-29's, A-21's, F-13's - Ooooh! I got BINGO!!!!

John's mother, Rosemary, was a Girl Scout leader for 50 years, and one of her proudest possessions was her 50 year Girl Scout pin. Oddly enough the pin read "World's Greatest Poker Player" and did not actually feature the Girl Scout logo or insignia. It is also of interest that she found the pin on a transit bus.

As he was graduating from Yale, John Kerry volunteered to serve in Vietnam, because, as he later said, "I they said Vienna." He believed that “Vienna sausages are big and juicy, or maybe I am thinking about Italian sausages. Hold on, is Vienna in Italy?” John Kerry served two tours of duty. His leadership, courage, and sacrifice earned him a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.

But John Kerry's wartime experience taught him a painful lesson that he could not forget, even after he returned home. It really hurts when you poke yourself the chest with your Bronze Star.

After returning home became a Vietnam Veteran Against the War (VVAW). In April 1971 John testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and posed the powerful question, "Which one of you used to sing with Cher?"

John Kerry was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1982. He was elected to the United States Senate two years later. He is now serving his fourth term, but is often taunted by the fear that he will never achieve the goal his mother wanted for him: to become a Girl Scout.

He is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, and they have a blended family that includes two daughters, three sons, one grandchild, and a German Shepherd named Cym. Cym is too cool for vowels, he often barks "don't give me that sometimes 'y' nonsense. They
is all consonants."

Some facts about John Kerry:

His first car was a 1962 Volkswagen bug

No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen is his favorite song

He has a net worth of $600 million

His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies

Some facts I just made up about John Kerry:

Is rarely photographed without his trademark 'hat made out of dead chipmunks'

Once called Tip O'Neil 'Ron O'Neal' afterwards he and Tip wrestled until the cops arrived

Was the first Democratic Presidential candidate to call his opponent a 'Sucker M.C.'

Chocolate chip cookies is his slang for delicate chocolate truffles from Micca's in Paris

Dubya: The 43rd President of the United States

President Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, and he grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1968, then served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. After working on his father's successful 1988 presidential campaign, he assembled the group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989. Five years later, after learning that the Baseball team was a separate entity from the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger he promptly fired Chuck Norris. Norris told reporters, "It's okay, I was having a lot of trouble fielding grounders and I just got a script for a movie where I team up with a karate kicking pooch."

After the Chuck Norris fiasco, Bush left the Rangers and was elected Governor of Texas on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. He became the first Governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms when he was re-elected on November 3, 1998, with 68.6 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Chuck Norri's Pooch Power was stalled in development at Paramount Pictures.

Since taking office, President Bush has signed into law bold initiatives to improve public schools by raising standards, requiring accountability, and giving the kids 'them super-computers like they have in the Batcave.' He also signed tax relief that provided rebate checks and lower tax rates for everyone who pays income taxes in America. He has increased pay and benefits for America's military and is working to save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. To put it in his words "I'm like a modern day... uh... guy that helps ya with stuff. Sorta like that Mr. Clean who helps you clean the floor and wears an earring. Remember that guy? Was he gay, or what was his deal?"

Fun facts about George W. Bush:

His wife Laura Welch Bush is a former teacher and librarian

His nicknames include "W," Dubya, George W. and "43"

His favorite drink is diet soda

He owns two dogs, Spotty and Barney; and a cat named India

His favorite movie is Field of Dreams

Fun facts I just made up about George W. Bush:

Uses the Secret Service handle 'B-Diddy'

Often starts press conferences by saying "B-Diddy is in the hizzy"

Once interrupted his father's State of the Union address by shouting "Enough of this political mumbo jumbo, who wants to go out and get some eggs?"

Fought congress for two years on a proposal to replace the question mark with a cartoon of a confused Dennis The Menace

For the first 3 years of his administration his presidential limousine had a bumper sticker that read 'Don't Blame Me, I voted for Nader'