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Friday, October 31, 2003
"How can someone be so fat and so square at the same time?"
Yes, there was a "Fat Albert Halloween Special." It originally aired in 1977. While time may have forgotten it, Blog has not.
After being kicked out a octogerian's store for accidentally trashing the place, the Fat Albert gang vows to avenge themselves. They declare war on the neighbor's elderly. What ensues is a war across the generation gap and an instant-holiday classic.
The plan quickly goes array. Despite a clear age advantage, the gang is '86'd from a movie theater and has its candy stolen by an elderly hermit. In the end, they learn a valuable lesson: Don't fuck with old people. No, Blog is not making this up. Consider the following monologue, delivered by character named Mudfoot:
"You know, when I was a kid, trick or treatin' was different. Talkin' bout fun, we didn't have no street lights and I used to wear the darkest clothes so nobody could see me. Yes sir, nothin' like the challenge of crossin' a dark, busy street.
And there wasn't all this fro-fra' about taken' treats that's pre-packaged. I wish you coulda' seen the good slop I had. Pre-tasted, licorice, taffy, apple, popcorn, peanut, orange, doughnut, peppermint, deep fried all globbed together in one gooey, gritty wad. Awwwww, man!
Not like all this sissy, sanitary, pre-wrapped, goody two-shoes stuff you get today. Of course, you'd get sicker than a dog and spend two, three days in bed but it was worth it. Now you kids get on with your trickin' and treatin'. My TV shows is comin' on."
Mudfoot lives in a shack and uses the front of a refrigerator as a door. No, this sort of thing would never be broadcasted on television today. Despite its controversial nature, "Fat Albert" ran in various incarnations throughout the late '70s and '80s. The Halloween special was re-aired every year until at least 1986 on an affiliate in Portland.
With its funk/jazz soundtrack and unconventional storyline, it should go without saying that "The Fat Albert Special" beats the pants off of all of its Halloween counterparts, even the one where Garfield karate chops a gang of pirate ghosts.
It's hard to track down but worth a look. Blog found it after unearthing a 18 year-old video tape. Fortunately, no one bothered to edit out the commercials. The tape contains ads for the Statue of Liberty refurbishment, Cabbage Patch dolls and .49 cent AM PM hot dogs("I'm taklin' 'bout hot dogs. HOTDOGS! Say it one more time! And get a Coke for just ONE MORE DIME!"). Blog wouldn't trade it for the world.
Hooray for nostalgia!
The ghost of Henry Weinhard has broken Blog's phone
Or has he? You be the judge. Click here to read the story over at Website.
Is it spook-tacular or merely spooky? On the spook-ometer it rates about a 6, actually.
Can't they just hate Valentines Day like everyone else?
It seems that Halloween is getting more flack than usual this year. Check out these stories:
This link leads to a revisionist history of the holiday. As an added bonus, it includes a special Halloween prayer that will protect you from the evil forces that are trying to trick you into trick or treating.
Curious to find out how deeply-religious Christians
avoid the temptation of dressing up like monsters and harassing neighbors for food? They take their kids to a Hallelujah Parties or God's Harvest Festivals. Click here for more info.
Did Assembly of God put on "Hell House" this year? The internet turned up no results. The small congregation in Austin, Texas hosts a Christian haunted house every year, drawing national headlines and tens of thousands of visitors. The church attempts to "scare the hell" out of visitors by graphically recreating such horrors as botched abortions, AIDS deaths, rape, school shootings, suicide, and drunk driving accidents (and then showing the perpetrators dragged off to hell by masked demons). Last year, a documentary about the AOG was released. To learn more click here.
According to the AP, the French have completely lost interest in "Le Halloween" since its national debut in 1998.
And the Russians have banned the "morally damaging" holiday altogether.
What a bunch of Hallo-weenies.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
PDX Halloween curse
Every year it happens like clockwork. October offers varying days of summer weather and frigid rain in the Portland area. Once Halloween week rolls around, BLAMO!, those nice days disappear for nine months. It's like watching the sun go down in Barrow, Alaska except in Portland you have no idea when it's coming back.
This year the month has been generous. The last two weeks of October offered Portland residence an abundance of July-esque weather. Then, 36 hours ago, it vanished.
It's weird to watch the weather change so rapidly. On Tuesday night, ominous clouds rolled in like bouncers pushing out summer out the door. On Tuesday, the high temperature was 72. Yesterday, it barely cracked 50. Do the math. It's like Portland has been teleported from Fourth of July to Valentine's Day.
Blog is writing about the weather. Blog will stop now.
By now you've probably seen the dolphin tape. Drudge broke the story a few days ago and Blog immediately assumed that the entire thing was a hoax. Japanese fisherman slaughtering adorable dolphins? Rivers of blood that look like raspberry Kool Aid? Come on, this picture looks like it was put together in Photoshop 2.0. The Associated Press picked up the story today. Apparently, there's a tape to go along with the picture. It's real after all.
Dolphin meat is obviously illegal in the United States but readably available in parts of Asia and even as far away as Peru. According to this website, dolphin was sold in cans in the US as late as the 1950s before environmental and culture concerns lead to its prohibition.
Would you eat a propoise steak? Blog....yes, Blog would. Still, the dolphin video is only one a million examples of the fact that Japan is, well, a little kooky in the head. "Lost in Translation" offers a peak at the lighter side of the nation's eccentricities but evidence like dolphin burgers suggest that Japan is as depraved as Hannibal Lector at a Atkins convention.
Still not convinced? This link leads to pictures of a peculiar Japanese arcade game, "peculiar" meaning perverted and twisted. You've been warned. Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Fox Network Nearly Sues Itself
This one goes out to Flog and all the "children with the cartoon eyes."
"JFK posthumously joins Republican party..."
It's the Fallacy of Organized Religion, Charlie Brown!
Blog was going to write an essay about the religious parables hidden in a certain Halloween classic, but a video store clerk in San Antonio has already done it. In a nifty little analysis, "Reverend Steve" relates Charlie Brown to Judas and Lucy to Mary Magdalene. Here's a snippet:
A) THE GREAT PUMPKIN AS GOD
What is the Great Pumpkin? Well, Linus says "The Great Pumpkin knows which kids have been good and which kids have been bad ... you'll be sorry!" There's a duality in this statement. First, it shows us that the Great Pumpkin has powers that could be attributed to omnipotence or omnipresence. He knows who is good and bad and therefore it can be concluded that he knows ALL in order to know who is good and bad. The second message this quote tells us is that the Pumkin is vengefull like God. Linus preaching "You'll be sorry" suggests that the Pumpkin should be feared. Also, does the pumpkin exist? No one knows, but those who believe he exists display blind faith, just like God and his followers.
Should you read the whole thing? Of course! It'll get you in the holiday spirit...or something. Just follow this link.
What are the moral lessons to be learned here? Blind faith is for the foolhardy, candy-lust is a sin of the flesh and the internet really does make life easier.
To learn more about the Great Pumpkin, click here or visit your local library, biznatch!
Answers to the Alibi Tiki Quiz
These should have been posted yesterday. Sorry about that.
If you have no idea what this is all about, check out Monday's post.
The answers, as you will soon learn, are not what you may think.
Wait...the muscle bound jock is the screenwriter?! That's right. The Alibi lounge may or may not reside in a parallel universe where up is down, cats are dogs and irritating former classmates emerge from the shadows to shriek at you.
Don't worry if you flunked the Alibi Tiki Quiz. It's 10-15 times more difficult than the New York Times crossword and a thousand times tougher than the SAT.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Burt and Ernie and Tony
Blog watches TV so you don't have to. While flipping through channels this morning, Blog's eyes were set ablaze by the sight of Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr. running away from a talking broccoli stalk.
Sometime ago, actor James Gandolfini made appearance on Sesame street as a child-friendly version of his fictional alter-ego. In a segment about "being afraid," the mob boss confessed his own fears to a puppet named Zoe. He's afraid of getting his hair cut (what hair?) but is consoled when the barber gives him a lollipop. Snuggling his teddy bear helps him feel less scared at night.
The one thing Tony can't handle though is "giant talking vegetables." When the broccoli casually strolls on screen, he flees.
The message here? Everyday fears can be overcome by directing your attention to candy or stuffed animals. But when you vegetables try to talk to you, leave and consult Dr. Melfi. You may want to replace that Prozac with either Zoloft or pure grain alcohol.
Rod Roddy: 1937-2003
Rod Roddy, the infamous announcer for "The Price is Right" is dead at the age of 66. Roddy, who had been suffering from both breast and colon cancer for the past two years, passed away last night at Century City Hospital in Los Angeles.
Known for his booming voice and blinding jackets that could make even Liberace go blind, Roddy got his start as a DJ at a Texas radio station. In the '70s, he got his first Hollywood job as the announcer for the popular sitcom "Soap." Casey "Shaggy" Kasem, the original announcer, fled the risqué program after the first season. From there, Roddy worked on "Love Connection" before landing a 16-year long gig as the voice of "The Price is Right."
To borrow a few words from the late, great Wesley Willis, he was "A rock star. A rock legend to the max. [Rod], you can really knock it out. You can really wupp a horse's ass."
Somewhere in heaven, Rod is requesting the angels "come on down" for a shot at winning toasters and pool tables. You will be missed but not forgotten. Good night, sweet prince.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Strange things overheard while eating a cheeseburger at the Alibi, sadly reflecting on a failed attempt to expose the hypocrisy of Michael Moore
The Alibi (disregard the article, look at the pic) is a tiki lounge in north Portland. Like all historic businesses in this town, it's probably 8 months away from being demolished to make way for a townhouse complex. While it still stands, the Alibi is a great place to eavesdrop.
Let's play a game. Take a look at these random Alibi customers:
A. Drunk hipster in a denim jacket.
B. Surfer bartender with a pony-tail.
C. Muscle-bound jock drinking girlie drinks.
D. Chain-smoker in the corner, dressed entirely in black.
Can you match each quote to the preceding patrons?
1. "I respect strippers, really I do. They're like Michael Flatley."
2. "I don't know, I just haven't been able to finish the third act. After I get rid of the car and get to Puerto Rico, I'll wrap up it up and sell it all to Hollywood."
3. "Yesterday it was pouring rain, right? Well, I'm riding my bike, the little one, past the bus station. Some guy, in a joking manner, yells, 'Summer's over!' Then I thought, 'Well, at least I'm not riding the bus.!"
4. "Your jacket keeps falling off this chair. It's because I keep knocking it off."
Real life tomacco?
"A local scientist claims to have created a new crop called 'tomacco.' He claims he got the idea from a popular cartoon show. Details at 11."
This is a quote from a Sunday night KPDX news break. Blog forgot to watch. While the station's website offers plenty of links to stories about drive-by blow gun attacks, there isn't a single one for the tomacco story.
It has to be a joke, right? The news break neglected to show a shot of this mystery plant. A local guru glued cigarettes to a tomato plant and conned his way on to the local tv station- that must be it.
Four years from now you'll be wandering through a Safeway produce section and there they'll be: fresh, ripe tomaccos. Then you'll think back to this moment and wish you had invested.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Michael and Me
"What's that in your pocket?"
"No cameras allowed."
"Don't you know the headliner? He's made a career out of taking film crews into places where cameras are prohibited."
"Sorry, we can't let you bring that in."
"Come on, this is Michael Moore we're talking..."
"Get the tazer."
This was the scene last night at the Memorial Coliseum...or at least it could have been.
Blog's mission was a simple one. Take a camera to last night's "An Evening With Michael Moore" and get kicked out. Unfortunately, Blog never made it to the security check point. The last ticket was sold early yesterday afternoon.
Only in a place where it rains 345 days out of the yearswould people pay between $15 - $29 to get into a book signing. Only in a state like Oregon would such a thing be held in a 12,000 seat auditorium. Only in a town like Portland would the event sell-out.
There was a time when Blog approved of the author/director's noble efforts. Roger and Me remains a bold classic and TV Nation deserved a ten year run on NBC. Despite the alleged factual errors contained in Bowling for Columbine, many of which have been nicely rebuked by Moore on his website, at least it doesn't offer an easy answer for the tragedy (unlike a certain Gus Van Sant film...). Many of Moore's critics describe him as a firebrand who disregards facts to push an agenda. Of course, most of them could easily be accused of the same thing (Limbaugh? O'Riely? Coulter?).
Then Moore won an Academy Award and unapologetically turned the stage of a ditzy Hollywood ceremony into a pulpit. Moore deserved to be booed, not for speaking out against the president, but for choosing the wrong place and the wrong time. He seems to be suffering from a Citizen Kane-esque ego disorder and last night's event in Portland only further fuels this presumption.
Last night, KOIN News offered a 30 seconds of footage from his stint at the Coliseum. Standing in front of a monitor which enlarged his head to the size of empty Flint storefront, Moore offered his views on the presidency and the economy to a frustrated crowd. The image immediately recalled a certain scene from Orson Welles' old film. With tickets going for $29 and copies of "Dude, Where's My Country?" selling in the foyer for upwards of $17, the event was awfully expensive for all those PSU students and unemployed Baby-Boomers waiting to get in.
Moore's website neglects to mention if any of the proceeds of last night's event, or any of his other dates around the country, were/are going to charity. Blog assumes not, since these things are usually well-publicized in strong, bold fonts. He'll be speaking at a similar "book-signing" at WSU tonight.
The appearance was a part of a nation-wide promotional tour for his new book. Other authors don't charge for book signings but, well, they also don't draw the same size crowds. While it was probably necessary for Moore's management to charge something to pay for the venue rentals on this tour, $29 is awfully high for a show lacking pyrotechnics and electric guitars.
On Monday night, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Flaming Lips also played the Coliseum and charged the same price as Moore. Instead of smug political musings and reckless self-promotion on a bare stage, they offered 2+ hours of music, explosions and laser lights.
Is Michael Moore exploiting the people he claims to defend? Has he become a hypocrite like Kane, willing to trade his laurels for $? Is he really that desperate to get out of the apartment over the Baby Gap? Did he really stay at the Colesium afterwards to sign all those books? Is Blog making too many assumptions here without facts to back them up? Is this post starting to sound like the narration for one Moore's documentaries?
The answer to all of these questions, in the words of Kid Notorious, is "you bet your ass."
Thursday, October 23, 2003
About this Robert Evans cartoon (revised)...
It's hilarious that "Kid Notorious" is taking so much credit for his involvement in The Godfather. The debut episode of Comedy Central's new series centers around the producer's alleged masterminding of the classic film.
Take a look at the trivia section of IMDB or listen to Coppola's audio commentary for the DVD and you'll discover a different side to the story. Check out these factoids:
- Evans hated the director's decision to cast Marlon Brando. He tried to fire Coppola but was eventually talked out of it by the head of Paramount, Stanley Jaffe. Brando later received (and rejected) an Oscar for the part.
- To reduce the budget, he tried to convince Coppola to change the film's setting to the '70s instead of the '40s.
- Evans also tried to slice at least an hour out of the final print, convinced that a longer running time would reduce daily showings in theaters and therefore reduce its profits. Test audiences loved Coppola's longer cut and hated Evan's. The longer cut won out and the movie went on to earn $135 million at the box office.
If anything, Evans involvement almost turned The Godfather into a debacle. He failed on that movie but succeeded when he would later produce Coppola's version of The Cotton Club. Tension between the two became so high during the production that Coppola eventually banned Evans from the set.
Also consider this: The Cotton Club was originally pitched as a "musical Godfather." Kid Notorious' first episode centers around a musical production of the Godfather. On the show, the idea results in a hit Broadway Show. In real life, it mutated into a box office bomb and subsequent murder trail.
What are the intentions of Evans and the writers? Is this a stab at the past? A snotty suggestion that Evans could have made The Cotton Club work w/o Coppola? Is Blog reading too much into all of this? Probably.
To call the cartoon strange and misguided would be an understatement. Despite all this, Blog will continue to watch Kid Notorious but not because of Evans but rather his sidekick Puss Puss, a malt liquor chugging kitten.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
No new posts?
Blog has been busy working on other areas of the site. "Canada: A Photographic Journey Through a Land of Mystery" is now available for your viewing pleasure at website. Be sure to check it out while your waiting for the new season of South Park to begin (t-minus 246 minutes and 18 seconds PST). The article includes all sorts of purty pictures and features Quicktime clips of strange Canadian TV shows.
Regular bloging will resume tomorrow.
Monday, October 20, 2003
One last thing about the Tarantino movie...
I saw it again with an audience on the outskirts of Eugene, Oregon. Despite being a PC town, apparently it has a thriving underground of depraved nihilists.
Who else but nihilists would laugh at the opening shot and giggle like banshees throughout the rest of it? For them, Kill Bill may as well have been Piglet's Big Movie, a delightful technicolor romp. Of course, this is the same town that kept Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas in theaters for almost a year. Those sick bastards!
A word to the wise; if you're planning on spending time in Eugene, you may want to take along a crossbow and a bottle of extra-strength holy water.
When the leaves turn orange and the autumn winds howl, when the air turns crisp and more than the usual amount of dead squirrels fill the road, 'tis the season for pumpkin beer!
Many will tell you it's disgusting. These are sort of people that hate America and have black hearts. Pumpkin beer combines two of world's most perfect foods: pumpkin pie and beer.
And that's exactly how it tastes. Admittedly, if you drink more than two you'll feel like you've consumed an entire pumpkin patch. Drink more and your vomit will taste like a acidic pie milkshake. But like many great things, pumpkin beer should be enjoyed in moderation. Drink one, two tops, and then switch to whiskey.
Various small breweries around the country produce pumpkin-related beer products. Here in Portland, the most prevalent brand on the shelves is called, oddly enough, Pumpkin Ale and comes from the Buffalo Bill Brewery in Hayward, CA. The website describes their batch as "An amber style ale, originally brewed by George Washington, brewed with fresh roasted pumpkins, malted barley. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are added." What other brew comes with the original GW's stamp of approval?
You may want to stock up for the long winter ahead. Pumpkin Ale flies off shelves during the month of October only to disappear entirely by Dia de los Muertos.
The archives work!
All is well in the world.
David Blaine? Still alive...
Overcoming endless taunts from ornery Brits, lazer keychains, golf ball attacks, flabby flashers, would-be saboteurs and a Paul McCartney-fueled fist-fight, Blaine managed to survive his 44 day stay in a box near London Bridge.
In those last few days, the magician's accumulating aliments prevented him from standing. After his final day in the box (Sunday), he was quickly rushed to a hospital where he remains in stable condition. According to an AP report, he dropped 50 pounds. It could be several days before he can begin eating solid foods.
A few days back, Blaine's website posted a series of his ailments, in his own words. If you're planning to vacation in a clear plastic box, you may want to go camping instead. Here's an excerpt:
"My heart is beating really fast, then slows down and stops- it's irregular.
My mouth is always dry which reminds me to drink which is good, and it tastes like sulphur- which almost tastes like s***. For the first days it tasted sweet, 'cos my body was breaking down sugars glucose.
When I stand up everything goes black and sometimes my hearing goes out.
When I concentrate on something too much it hurts in my head.
The taste in my mouth- the water is often disgusting to drink.
I've only taken a 'number two' once, so my body is holding it in and that hurts. Often I wish I was free.
And the last one is that I always want to vomit 'cause my body is so acidic- and that is why I burp a lot. "
Imagine the smell of that box. I wonder if it's worse than the now infamous House of Filth (with pic!).
Friday, October 17, 2003
El Grillo Report #2: Scarface and the Gyrating Turkey Butt
OK, I didn't smash the monitor with the Hulk Hands. Why not? So I could tell you about a trip to a strange Mexican restaurant.
If you read last week's report or hang around downtown Portland, you know that El Grillo is a cafe attached to one of Benecio del Toro's favorite strip clubs. Something weird's always going down there and it's probably the best place in the city to people watch.
On a recent trip, the place was packed at 11:30 on a Wednesday night. A line of teenagers clogged the counter, looking like they were on a late night field trip. Halfway through his meal, one turns to the cook and asks if he would turn the DMX from mariachi music to old-school rap. The cook obliges and the restaurant is suddenly filled with a track from Niggaz4life.
Gunshots and an endless stream of "fucks" cut like a knife into the patron at the window. He motionlessly smokes a cigarette and stares into oblivion. He's dressed like Tony Montana and carries the same scowl.
Something is about to happen. Will he rise and whip them with a Cuban brogue? Is that an Uzi under the jacket on the chair? Do psychotic mafiosos live in Oregon and hang around Mexican restaurants? Things are tense.
Suddenly, an old man appears in a cloud of smoke from Mary's Club. He rides in on a wheel chair pushed by what looks like a daughter. The tension drains from the room as the restaurant tries to suppress smirks. The cook asks, "Did you have a good time?" "Always. Always," the man assures him.
Before things can get uncomfortable again, a couple flounces through from next door. Both are built like linebackers. While the male chats with the guy working the register, his wife, approaching 40 and as pale as White Out, dances to NWA.
This isn't your average head-bob, knee bend. She's into it, working a strange combination of the "Shake Your Bon-Bon" and the Chicken Dance. She flaps her arms as her ass gyrates like a pair of turkeys filled with vibrators. She's oblivious to the lyrics and smiling like a baby.
Her dance lasts 30 seconds but seems like hours. People laugh, Montana doesn't move his head. His eyes are fixated on a spot in the street. Does he know she's there, that this gigantic turkey butt is gyrating only a few feet from him? He's as still as stone.
The song stops and so does she. They leave and the teenagers follow. DMX is quickly switched back to the mariachi station. Montana lights another cigarette. I never find out what's so fascinating about the pavement.
...seems all but impossible on this Blogger thing. The links below will either lead you nowhere or send you back to this very page. I've wasted three hours (while at work, mind you) trying to figure this thing out. Desperate emails have been sent to Blogger over the past few days. So far all that's been returned is a cheery message telling me they've "received my message and will respond to it in a timely manner." There's a good chance Blog could become a nightmarish mess, the internet equivalent of the Winchester Mansion, with links that lead to nowhere.
If I spend a moment more fiddling with tedious FTP file extension, I may have to drive my coworker's Hulk Hands ("with incredible growling sound effects!") through this monitor. Hmm...this chair could also use some smashing. Maybe I should just cut to the chase.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
The quest for Pizza in a Cup pt. 1
If you've got a penis and you've been living in America for at least a decade, there's a 97% chance you've seen The Jerk. It's a Steve Martin movie that was released waaaaaaay back in 1979. In some circles, it's more sacred than The Goonies and The Blues Brothers combined.
In one scene, Martin makes a meal out of something called "Pizza in a Cup." The movie never explains exactly what it is but suggests that it's similar to Noodles in a Cup. Pizza in a Cup sounds tasty, and since no else can be bothered to actually create it, Blog will.
Just like the Coldplay song warns, "nobody said it would be easy." It's obvious that Pizza in a Cup should include ingredients like pepperoni, sauce and mozzarella cheese but what should be the equivalent of dough? In my first attempt, angel hair pasta served as a substitute.
While boiling the pasta, I mixed the sauce, cheese and pepperoni in a bowl and heated them for three minutes in a microwave. Once the noodles were finished, I tossed in the sauce concoction and stirred heavily.
The end result looked like lasagna but tasted like spaghetti covered in pizza toppings. It was good but didn't really taste like a pizza. It was more like 75% spaghetti, 25% pizza.
First attempt? Failure.
Regardless, this concoction should be given a name. I will call it PIZZGHETTI!
Am I discouraged? No. if I'm going to make $50 million dollars by stealing ideas from Steve Martin, then the quest for Pizza in a Cup must continue unabated.
And, no, you can't steal the pizzghetti idea. It's already trademarked AND copyrighted.
The cancer spreads...
I want my Gilded Toilet!
With a title like that, how can you look away?
Behold the glory of the Flog Blog. So far, it's devoted to law school anecdotes and children's depictions of war. Given the author, who knows where it will go from here.
You. Should. Go. Read. It. Now.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Why isn't there a Konnichi, WA.?
Time to start a township! Those t-shirts would sell like Indiana Jones DVDs.
The Ghosts of Late Shows Past
Trio, a strange, obscure cable station, is re-airing ancient episodes of Late Night with David Letterman. Last night's, was an episode from waaaaaay back in 1986. The opening credits were very dated and oddly melancholy. Fuzzy images of New York landmarks like Radio City closing for the night and turning off their marquees. Shots of vacant streets (at 12:30 AM. In Manhattan? Isn't this the city that never sleeps?)
The monologue featured jabs at Eric Estrada and the Yankees. How little things have changed in late night television over the years. Maybe Dave only has 100 monologues that he's been using over the course of his two decade career. No one would be the wiser.
Billy Joel sat in with the band and Paul Schafer still had hair. Miss America, that year one Johnny Cash's nieces, was the headliner. The interview was awkward and at one point Dave commented, "You're a person of few words, just like your uncle." At the end, she fired back with a "I was looking forward to coming on this show until I finally met you."
This was back in the days when the show invited strange guests, like Harvey Pekar, to round out the hour. Last night's episode featured an elderly Russian physic that shouted at the audience when they laughed nervously at his theories about the future of medicine. Dave looked genuinely frightened. Very neat.
After, the Late Show, the station cut to even older late night program called the Ernie Kovacs Show. A bizarre meld of Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live reimagined by Salvador Dail, the program debuted in December 1952 and was shortly cancelled thereafter. At the time, for what's it worth, Playboy called Kovak "the first comic genius of the new medium."
To call the show weird would be an understatement. During the title sequence, a perpetually cigar chomping Kovak, argued with a pair of tiny violinist's blocking the title. Real knives were launched at the host's head during the opening monologue from off-screen. No explination for this is ever given.
Unlike modern talk shows, Kovak didn't bother with boring celebrity interviews and stuck entirely with comedy and musical numbers. Every few seconds, the show incorporated ancient blue screen techniques that look ancient by today's standards. A photographer is frightened and then delighted by a group of dancing ghosts in one segment. A bodybuilder dressed like Tarzan takes a cannonball to the gut in another.
Kovak's humor is incredibly dated. A "saucy" weather girl flirted with the audience in front of a map, dressed in a bathing suit that looks like a tent. In another segment, Kovaks, dressed in a flamboyant robe, reads a poem about jumping off the Empire State Building with a cliched lisp.
After a brief closing monologue, the credits appeared in smoke off a still image of Kovak's cigar. The sort of thing could never be broadcasted on NBC these days. Despite a yearly salary that earns him tens of millions, Jay Leno would never allow someone to throw deadly weapons at his skull. Later reviews of the show say that it set the format for late night programming, paving the way for the likes of the Tonight Show.
Kovak's died in a tragic traffic accident in the early '60s, allegedly because he lost control of the wheel while lighting a cigar. He left behind him a several hundred thousand dollars worth of IRS debt. Kovak didn't believe in the tax system and simply refused to pay. His wife was forced to make up the loss by performing in commercials.
Written on his tombstone: "Nothing in moderation." What a mofo.
Come on, isn't this more interesting than modern late night tv? OK, maybe not "Will It Float?" and Grinder Girl but...
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
The haircut was funny. For about a month. In 1999.
But the joke refuses to die. The Portland Mercury, the city's favorite alternative weekly rag, cracked wise about the haircut as recently as two weeks ago. Over the past few years, those among us with even slightly long hair have been dubbed mulletheads. If you dare let your do grow beyond a crewcut these days, you're sporting a "budding mullet."
It's like alternative in the early '90s. To begin with, the term was used to classify Seattle bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. By 1995, the likes of U2 and Bon Jovi fell under the same classification in trade publications and those cheesy "10 CDS for a $1.00" pull outs.
Much like alternative, "mullet" now encompasses anything beyond a standard business cut. It's a negative and used endlessly to chide those that don't go to the barber once a week. Long hair has become as laughable and out-of-style as parachute pants. Even worse, it's been inappropriately dubbed "mullet."
To clarify, once and for all, here is the definition of the word "mullet":
1. Any of various stout-bodied, edible fishes of the family Mugilidae, found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal waters and some freshwater streams.
2. A haircut. Business on the top. Long in the back.
Here is a picture of a true mullet:
Here is a picture of a mislabeled mullet:
Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 1 -3? Not sporting a mullet.
Any given member of Led Zeppelin circa 1973? All mullet-less.
Han Solo and Chewbacca in the first Star Wars: They may be revolutionaries but they both fight The Man w/o the help of mullets.
Gandolf the Grey? His hair may be shaggy but it doesn't live in mullet country.
The hairspray-encrusted mop on any given male living in the '80s (see: Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, etc.)? Not even close.
The guy you've been chiding from afar in your favorite uber-trendy bar? He may look like a posuer in that faded Che Guevera tee, but there's a 98% chance that thing on his head Is Not A Mullet.
You may want to clip and save this handy-dandy check list. Consult it before ridiculing a hippie in the street or chuckling at any number of error-filled mullet fansites.
And when long hair comes back into style and those with short hair are ridiculed for "going bald" or being "pinheads"? Well, that's your problem, bucko.
In the interim, get a jumpstart on what's sure to be at least a decade-long trend. Grow out your bangs and stop looking like a Nazi paratrooper. Rebel, and if anyone refers to you as a mullethead, call them what they are: uptight anal-retentive dickwad yuppie scum automatons.
Monday, October 13, 2003
"Little Caucasian girl likes to play with samurai swords..."
Kill Bill post. 2 of 2.
No see movie? No read words!
You may have heard the rumors that Tarantino's script was leaked onto the internet over a year ago. Indeed it was, but what appeared was an early draft. Much of what's on paper made the movie. However, there's a huge scene that was never filmed due to time and budget constraints...as well as other reasons that need not be explained here.
If you've seen Kill Bill, then you no doubt remember a character named Go Go Yaburi. She's the blood-thirsty school girl played by a certain actress that played a certain part in a certain notorious Japanese film that will never, ever be released in the United States. In the draft, Go Go has a twin sister named Yuki with a similar outlook on life. When Bill notifies her of her sister's death, she flips out and tracks down the Bride in LA.
What ensues is an epic machine gun melee. After making pit stops at Disneyland and the Hollywood sign, Yuki tracks her blonde nemisis in a suburban cul-de-sac. The Pussy Wagon is tragically blown to bits as the two blast their way through a series of homesteads. It's a shame that it didn't make the cut. Here's a tiny taste of this over-the-top grudge match:
YUKI (IN JAPANESE)
You fucking bitch! You shot me in
my breast! They're not fully
developed yet, you fucking asshole!
Now I'm always gonna have a dimple!
If you laughed at that, you're going to hell. There's no if's and's or but's about it. You disgust me.
Still, I can hear you crying. "Oh boo hoo hoo! You've made a big deal out of this scene and I want to read it too!" Well, dry those teary eyes. Blog is here to provide you with a link to the whole gosh 'dern original script. Click here to see it. It's chock full of other deleted scenes and, if you want, you can even find out the ending!
The scene in question occurs right after the Showdown at the Blue Leaves, about halfway through the script. Never say I never gave you nuthin'.
About the picture...
The shot taken above was taken outside of Seattle's Public Market. This guy was performing near the pig statue, a few feet away from the "fish flingers" (if you've ever been there, then you know what I'm talking about).
He preformed Woody Guthrie tunes and literally had about four teeth in his head. The possum on his shoulder was living and he occasionally paused to feed it cat treats. If pirates ever roamed the Mississippi, this is what they probably looked like.
I'm sure he has a record deal by now and three sold-out dates at Carnegie. Keep a look out for his upcoming MTV 2 video special.
You can make your own assumptions about the guy in the Hawaiian shirt.
"THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUCK AROUND WITH YAKUZAS!"
Kill Bill post. 1 of 2.
The opening shot..."wiggle your big toe"...the animation sequence...the box of "Kabooms"...the Pussy Wagon...Samual L. Jackson's tiny cameo...the Game of Death jumpsuit...the Akira Kurosawa meets Sergio Leone meets Incredibly Strange Music soundtrack...a 30 minute battle royale...Gogo Yaburi's spinning death ball...the brief hat tip to Master of the Flying Gullotine...Lucy Liu...barefoot in the snow...with a samurai sword.
At the last showing at Lloyd Cinemas on Saturday, four stoned kids wander in as the previews are running. They giggle in Spanish through the preview for The Human Stain as a decrepit Anthony Hopkins macks on Nicole Kidman. Hundreds of hipsters around them roll their eyes and muttered to their dates. They wiggle in their seats and poke each other as the '70s "Feature Presentation" clips fire up.
Then an extreme close-up Uma Thurman's battered face pops up on the screen in black and white. Three tense minutes. A bullet hits her skull and that eerie Nancy Sinatra cover chimes in.
The kids sit, still as stone and silent through the rest of the movie.
Friday, October 10, 2003
No new article this week
Website usually publishes something once a week, on Thursday. Not this week though.
Things have been busy at work, I'm studying for the Louisiana state bar exam, the water heater broke, the cat had kittens, the cable's out and I'm pregnent.
They have to exist, right? They're out there somewhere. Why aren't there any links on the web about midget pygmies? Someone has something to hide.
According to the Guiness Book of World records, the smallest pygmies are the Mbutsi from Zaire, with an average height of 137 cm (4 ft 6 in) for men and 135 cm (4 ft 5 in) for women. Some groups average only 132 cm (4 ft 4 in) for men and 124 cm (4 ft 1 in) for women.
Maybe Verne Troyer is to blame. At 2' 8", he's been billed as the shortest living man in the world. The average Mbutsi male stands 4' 4". If I'm doing the math right, which I'm probably not, the pygmy equivalent of Mini Me would be around 1' 5". It's in Troyer's best interest to keep midget pigmies, if they do exist, under wraps.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
El Grillo report #1
El Grillo is a Mexican restaurant located in downtown Portland. Ever since middle school, people have been telling me that I need to check this place out. I finally wandered in a few weeks back. Unlike your average Muchos Gracias, this one has a legendary strip club attached at the hip. Is it any wonder that this is my new favorite restaurant?
Coke is served in a can, the prices are reasonable, lengua (AKA tongue) is on the menu and mural of a grasshopper in a rowboat hangs over '70s paneling. If you need to use the bathroom, you'll have to go through Mary's Club, the bar next door. A red door separates the two and every time it opens, a heavy cloud of cigarette smoke and throbbing Z100 beats pour into the room. MC carries the Benecio del Toro seal of approval, which automatically carries over to El Grillo. During the filming of The Hunted, he allegedly spent a good deal of time and $$$ there. Panchos could never brag about that.
Last month, I went to New York. On my first visit to El Grillo, I was hit up for change more times than I was during a week of wandering around Manhattan. Sure, it was all by the same guy, but that should count for something. Once at the door, once while eating and once on the way out. I think this is neat. ¿Soy americano blanco estúpido? Estoy sí.
"The administration's revolutionary tax cuts"
Percentage of Americans who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of this year's tax cut:
Average amount these Americans will save:
-Soure: Reuter's by way of the Oregonian.
Are you listening, Armed Prophet?
Siegfried and Roy All CGI Revue
Last night, Siegfried appeared on Larry King Live. While the show in Vegas may be put on permanent hold, the duo's CGI cartoon is still in production. Set for a September 2004 debut on NBC, "Father of the Pride" will center around the show's white tigers. Here's a plot synopsis from tvtome.com:
The show stars Larry, a hard-working white lion in the revue with his wife Kate, a white lioness. Sarmoti, another white lion who is Kate's father - and Larry's father-in-law - clashes with Larry on every subject imaginable. Rounding out the group is Snack, a mischievous gopher and Larry's best friend.
This isn't going to be your average low-budget Saturday morning fodder. The show is being executive produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg and will feature the vocal talents of John Goodman, Orlando Jones and Carl Reiner. Rather than run on Saturday mornings after the farm report, it's set for a prime time slot. "Father of the Bride" will also be entirely in CGI rather than traditional cell animation.
Even before Roy's accident, prophesized by an old episode of the Simpsons, this probably wasn't the best idea. NBC has already dropped a massive amount of $$$ on pre-production, so it's unsurprising that reluctant to pull the plug after little thing like a severe mauling. But it begs the question: will Roy have his throat torn out by the John Goodman on a "very special episode of..."?
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Elephant debuts in PDX
Gus Van Sant's new film made it's Portland debut on Saturday at the Schnitz. A red carpet was rolled up to the front doors of the Schnitz. A spotlight machine fired light at the sky from a side street. Women in cocktail dresses turned out in droves. Gawkers lingered on the sidewalk. All for a somber little movie about two teenagers shooting up a high school. What's wrong with this picture?
The New Tom Green Show is still cancelled.
And for God's sake, why?!! Oh boy! Time for some pontification!
As strange as it may sound, Tom Green's talk show, which debuted in mid-June, was easily the most entertaining thing on late night television. Undergrads and other undesirables around the world may endlessly speak the praises of Conan O'Brien but there's no getting around one, terrible little fact: Late Night with Conan O' Brien is tired.
Conan's shtick began wearing thin right around the time Andy Richter left for browner pastures. The show's comedy bits are repetitious and bland. How many more times will viewers be forced to sit through the likes of If They Mated, a segment that wasn't funny the first time it ran, let alone the 567,098 time? Late Night's more ambitious segments, which incorporate actors and props, are a string of easy-to-write non-sequiturs. Simply mix two objects that don't belong together, like toilet and robot, and you've got yourself a stellar Conan skit. Late Night has become as predictable and mind-numbing as the average episode of Dora the Explorer.
Tom Green's late night odyssey, on the other hand, was slow-motion, apocalyptic, chain smoking still born, multi-Segway accident. Yes, this is a complement. Would Conan attempt to hitchhike cross country with a list of rules that force him to panhandle and sleep under bridges? In 8 years of co-hosting, was Richter ever assaulted by Andy Dick, resulting in a broken wrist? Has Conan ever attempted to literally drown a member of N'Sync? Tom Green accomplished more in a 10 week run than Leno, Letterman and all the others have in the last 20 years.
The show was entretaining because it was dangerous and ballsy. But nobody watched it and it was quickly cancelled, now replaced by reruns of Frat Life. You people have no taste. Here's a blank-verse poetic eulogy for the late, great New Tom Green Show.
Oh, New Tom Green Show
You entertained a few dozen people
With your swearing and cigarettes
And your misguided, often segments, comedy segments
We'll always remember the time when a guest chain-sawed the desk
and when Tom road the elephant
and when he bronzed Nick's cell phone
and when he used a catapult to fling Bill O'Reilly books at a dumpster
and when he attacked someone with a deer's head
Good night, sweat...late night talk show
At least you outlasted Chevy Chase
The New Tom Green Show is dead! Long live the New Tom Green Show!!
Every 8 seconds a new blog is born.
Nearly ever human on the planet has a blog. 50% of the world's pets post their daily thoughts on topics ranging from rawhide bones to which litter is best prevents chaffing. Even plants and dirt are getting in on the action. Does the world really need another one?
Is that going to stop me?
Will blog offer subject matter that other blogs do not?
Well, mayb...no, no it won't.
Will blog be littered with spelling and grammatical errors, cheap insults, foul language, and gratuitous pictures of bruises?