Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Roundup - Part 3



Let's bang the rest of the year out...

Best DVD's of 2008:

1.) The Mist - This movie still haunts me. I never saw it in the theaters (I didn't even know when it came out) but its a great movie to watch on a dark winter night. A deadly mist envelops a small town and what's in the mist is pretty nasty (think large mutated bugs). The most shocking and perhaps the greatest ending ever to a movie. Much better than the Strangers.

2.) Teeth - The greatest concept of the year. A young girl is born with razor sharp teeth in her "private" area. Not necessarily a horror movie but a very dark comedy. Highly recommend. Again, better than the Strangers.

3.) Best Of TV Funhouse - Made by the guy who does Triumph The Insult Comic Dog as well as those animated skits on Saturday Night Live, he actually put together a weird "Pee Wee's Playhouse" type show featuring animal puppets and very odd animated skits. I recommend trying to find some clips on Youtube before buying though as the humor isn't for everybody.


Best nights of 2008

1.) March 15, 2008 aka the beginning of the Rock Band phenomenon. I bring over Rock Band to my buddy's place (its his birthday too) to show them the game. What was supposed to be a brief pre-game leading to a night out on the town, leads to nearly 10 hours of non-stop playing and never leaving his house. The hours blow by too and when I went to sleep, I see colored bars dropping down when I close my eyes.

2.) The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend - Up in Boothbay, Maine, some college friends get together up in a remote part of Maine for some R&R. The final night is like an night in college...starts off with some Jenga, then some good old fashion card games like asshole, drinking games like Flip Cup, and of course some Rock Band mixed in. The night ends on a hazy note as some friends and I lose a bet and are forced to eat an all natural dog biscuit.

3.) December 12, 2008 - Back to NYC. Friends from Houston, TX come in and bedlam ensues. If night number 2 was a throwback to college, this was a throwback to my days in Bayside, Queens. After throwing back 5 seven and sevens, I find myself in a club with people 10 years younger around me...but I love it. Even better was the DJ who did everything from his computer. It made me wonder how much my old mixer is worth these days.

Top 3 rediscovered songs of 2008.

1.) "If You Should Ever Be Lonely" by Val Young - I stumbled across this song on another retro blog and immediately fell in love with it again. You can find it on Itunes but the album its from is called "The Best Of Rick James".



2.) "Right On Track" by The Breakfast Club - A definitely lost nugget from the 80's. This is why Satellite radio is the best as you'd rarely hear this on terrestrial radio. I didn't know there was a video for this song but after quickly glancing at it, I will definitely write about it next year as it BEGS for an analysis.



3.) "So Many Men, So Little Time" by Miquel Brown - Okay so the video for this song (which I just watched for the first time) is pretty...ahem...manly but the song is pure 80's cheese. If I had a Ritz cracker, I'd put this song on it and enjoy it. This song actually taught me how to count by 5's and 10's. The singer's character must be the biggest slut of the 1980's but that was the free loving 80's for you.



Saddest deaths of 2008

1.) Estelle Getty - better known as Sophia from "The Golden Girls". Loved to rip her daughter Dorothy a new one every time she could. Died of complications from dementia which was was probably brought about by the fact that even though she played the mother to an old lady...she was actually the youngest person in the cast...that would confuse me pretty good too.

2.) Richard Wright - the keyboard player from Pink Floyd. Created some pretty cool keyboard sounds on their best known songs. So much a reunion tour with the four original members.

3.) Jim McKay - I vaguely remember "ABC's Wide World Of Sports" and Jim McKay to me was that old grandfatherly type who'd host it. In his later years he'd pop up from time to time to do a special story for ABC. Best known as the announcer during the 1972 Olympics when the Israeli hostages were killed. I'll use his most famous line during that broadcast on my wife sometimes.

Hungiewoman: Honey, where are the rest of the toilet paper rolls?
Me: That's it...they're all gone.

Honorable mentions:
* Paul Newman: Never saw his older movies but I enjoyed "Road to Perdition".

* Kevin Duckworth: Basketball player who died way too young. Had an awesome last name and he's best known to me at the WORST player in the classic "Bulls vs. Blazers" Sega Genesis game.

* Stan Winston: Special effects legend who created the Terminator

* Tim Russert: Created goofy diagrams on election day coverage. Also an alumni of Boston College like me.

* Charleston Heston: His voice will live on in a sound file on my computer when I get an fatal error... "Gaarrrr!!! You blew it up!!! Awww...DAMN YOU...Damn you all to hellllll!!!"

* Heath Ledger: I find myself getting sucked into Brokeback Mountain when they show it on HBO recently. Its more to see Anne Hathaway's brief nude scene but more and more, I see what a great acting job Ledger does here. I always liked him in The Patriot and I don't need to say anymore about his performance in The Dark Knight

* Allan Melvin: RIP Sam The Butcher!!!

That's it!!! The roundup encompassed three different states, one airport, a coffee shop, and a snow storm. I'm taking the rest of this week off to enjoy the beginning of the new year. I'd like to thank those of you that have checked this blog out from time to time. I'm over 2500 hits and for somebody that just uses this as an outlet to write about the past, I appreciate it.

Onward to 2009...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Wrap-Up Part 2


On we go...

Best books of 2008

1.) The Chris Farley Show - the story of Chris Farley's rise to fame and crashing fall ending in his death. Told by stories of his peers including a lot Saturday Night Live people, his family, and other show business people, its a book I pounded through in a few days.

2.) Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles by Don Felder - I'm a casual fan of the Eagles and wanted to see what it was like behind the scenes. Don Felder is probably their least known member but he served in the band for almost 30 years. You learn a lot about not just the band (Glenn Frey and Don Henley were major assholes) but about the other bands he played in beforehand. He grew up with Tom Petty and Steven Stills.

3.) Too Fat To Fish - Artie Lange's book that's mainly for fans of him or the Howard Stern Show. Lots of laugh out loud moments but god help anyone who gets hooked on cocaine or heroin.

Best 3 Sporting Events:

1.) Super Bowl whatever the numbers are: Being married to a Patriots fan and seeing her dreams of a perfect season go down in flames was what I will remember more than that crazy David Tyree/ Eli Manning completion.

2.) 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies - Watching this friends after a few drinks in a place like Fire Island made this extra special. I swear you all must try the game where you divide the number of Olympic Athletes per country by the total population. Its hilarious. Seeing Bob Costas and Matt Lauer trying to outdo each other using four or more syllable words was fun too.

3.) 2008 Rhode Island interscholastic Softball Championship. My sister-in-law is the head coach of the softball team that won the state championship in softball in Rhode Island. The championship game went 9 innings (the regular game was 7) and it was a nailbiter all the way. There's nothing watching a sport in person even if its a high school event. I taped the entire game and would put the final out here but my sister-in-law said if I did that, I'd be arrested for putting youths on here.

Part 3 to come at some point. I'm going to be in area with little to no internet connection so I'll do my best to wrap this up. Otherwise, I'll see you in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tidbits

I'm currently in Florida and I'm mooching off a random person's internet connection so its been near impossible to do any type of updates. Even better, I left my computer battery at home so let's just say (in my best drunken Joe Namth voice) that's it been a "struggle" to update anything. I plan on getting the year end wrapup finished at the airport tomorrow...hopefully.

Anyway, a lot has gone on the past few days...

1.) Bye bye Eric Mangini, coach of the New York Jets. Congrats to Chad Pennington. Joe Namath was right about his analysis of you way back in 2003.



Go to this link for the full transcript.

http://hungieman.blogspot.com/2008/08/joe-namath-then-and-now.html


2.) Was watching "Deal Or No Deal" Christmas night. I used to watch this show early on when they would have two, maybe three contestants, but stopped when it turned into a platform for the contestants to make complete fools of themselves (their families too). Anyway, I watched the episode where they had a Iraq war veteran on. Two things about this...

a.) He pretty glorified his experience out there. I know a few people who have done tours out in Iraq and they do not like to talk much about it much less talk it up on a national TV game show.

b.) After the first commercial break (about 5 minutes into the episode) they went to commercial break. Before they went though they showed you the ENTIRE FREAKIN' EPISODE!!! You se the soldier guy get an offer of $200K+ so you know that he goes far. The few times I've watched this show, I know you pretty much need just a few cases left to get that kind of money. I lost all incentive to watch the episode and turned it off.

3.) The movie "Scrooged" isn't as good as I remembered it. My wife and I ordered it on PPV and she fell asleep halfway through and I thought Bill Murray was overacting but in a bad way. There are some parts in it but its like a movie being fueled on cocaine which makes sense since its from 1988. I do love the "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" song at the ending credits. In fact...here's a top 3 Christmas movie list.

4.) Funny Farm: Silly movie about people moving out to the country around but the town comes together around the holidays. Some great lines ("he's a runner" and "those are sheep balls") and a nice holiday story.
3.) Die Hard: It's a Christmas movie...watch it again.
2.) Gremlins 2: Highly underrated...I'm serious, pick this movie up in a DVD bargain bin.
1.) National Lampoon Christmas Vacation: The Griswald's at their finest.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Roundup - Part 1

Is it almost already the end of year already? 2008 will go down in the history books as your classic example of a "mixed bag". Sort of like that time at the movies where I mixed in the same bag some sour patch kids and some chocolate non-parallels. I wasn't thinking how the powder that makes the sour patch kids "sour" would fall onto the chocolate. Sour chocolate doesn't taste good at all. But I digress...here are a bunch of top 3 lists covering a bunch of different subjects.


News stories that caught my interest in 2008

1.) OBAMA!!! Whether you like him or not, the world is about to change in a few weeks. Buckle up and hang on.

2.) The market crash of 2008. Nobody expected the last five years of growth to last forever but nobody saw how hard the market would fall in a small period of time. RIP Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and possible say goodbye to the United States automobile industry.
3.) Elliot Spitzer found with hooker Ashley Dupre and losing his NY Governor position. I'm going to make up a joke here.

Q: Why won't Ashley Dupre ever get caught for speeding?
A: She has a governor on her.

3a.) Roger Clemens vs. Brian McNamee: Just some funny stuff going on there. Clemens ruined his legacy forever here.


Top 3 TV Shows

1.) John Adams miniseries - I highly recommend seeking this out. It was on HBO and it did a great job of recreating the U.S. around the late 1700's into the 1800's. Great acting and it was neat to see things like the White House being built. Also features two of my favorite underrated actors...Paul Giamatii and David Morse.
2.) Law and Order - This show is back on my radar and one of the few shows I'll watch every episode of. Good stories and I like the cast here.

3.) Tie: House/Saturday Night Live - House would be number one here if this was 2007 but its still very good. Weird medical cases and good character development. Even better, the hot doctor, 13, turns up naked in the movie "Alpha Dog". Saturday Night Live is back with good political humor, very random skits (the family that constantly makes out with each other, McGruber), and pretty good hosts.


Worst TV show:

1.) Grey's Anatomy: I'm sorry but I actually liked this show around Season 2 (I'm married, what can I say) but now I can't follow it. Terrible dialogue, bad decision making, and overacting. Even my wife says this show is falling apart.

Top 3 Movies (released 2008)

1.) Iron Man - some people may prefer The Dark Knight but after my neck breaking experience watching that movie in an IMAX theater, I have to go with Iron Man. Its got the complete movie experience...great origin story, tons of action, and good humor.

2.) Tropic Thunder - A lot of understated humor here but that's my favorite kind of humor. I didn't laugh at any other movie this year in the theater or on DVD.

3.) The Orphanage - Yes, its a french movie with subtitles but the story is scary and what a true horror movie should be about. Has the scariest scene that I've seen in quite some time...you'll know what I mean when you see it.


Worst Movie

Tie: The Strangers/Pineapple Express: Just like the Orphanage is example of a great horror movie, the Strangers is an example of a TERRIBLE horror movie. Very predictable, dumb storyline, and absolutely mind blowing decision making by Liv Tyler's character. I was saddened that she was still alive in the end. Was never scared once. Pineapple Express is a movie for stoners I guess. It had a great opening 20 minutes but then fell apart. I fell asleep during this movie for a few minutes.

Best website (besides my own):

1.) http://www.awfulannoucing.com/ - The place to go to check out the latest news of sports announcing. Its a sports website for hardcore sports fans.

2.) http://www.ign.com/ - Great resource for movie, TV, DVD, and video game news. Pretty much all the stuff I follow.

3.) http://www.theyearofledzeppelin.com/ - For all of you Led Zeppelin fans out there, this is the holy bible. Features reviews of EVERY single Zep concert ever released on bootleg.


Best inventions/products:

1.) Rock Band - When I drink, there's nothing more that I like to do than listening to good music, maybe sing along with it, or play some air guitar. Rock Band now allows you to actually play and sing those songs in your drunken state with friends. This will go down as the greatest video game ever.

2.) The Shandle (http://www.theshandle.com/) - Keeps your hands clean while lifting up those grimy toilets when taking a leak. Great concept, and a great gift.

3.) Vodka and Rootbeer - I'm sure this drink has been out there for years but my 83 year old grandmother made one for me and I've been hooked ever since. Very hard to order at a bar since not many bars have root beer on tap but its a great drink to make at home. Highly recommended.

Part 2 later this week...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Worst Christmas Song Of Time


Last week I touched on my favorite Christmas songs. Today, I want to speak briefly about my least favorite. Everybody should know it...or at least know the first few notes of it. It sounds like Satan bouncing a ball in the darkest shadows of Hades. Everyone should immediately run when they hear it. Welcome to the dirge known as "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Sir Paul McCartney.

Obviously this song has some decent quality to it since its been in regular rotation of holiday music the past 20 years. Written by McCartney around 1979, its really just two lines of two slightly different songs linked together by that "BUMP....boing boing boing" sound. I never knew there was a video for this song but there is and it definitely needs to be commented on.



The video has to be one of the darkest videos I've seen (it may be due to the poor video quality at the time). Regardless, this video has a lot of random moments:

:15-:21 - Some odd animation flies out of a TV show that two old guys are watching. Can't tell what the purpose of this is. Reminds me of that movie "Shocker" when a serial killer murders people by coming out of their electrical outlets and televisions.

:25 - 1:00 - The happiest E, I mean Christmas party I've ever seen.

1:13-1:16 - Its three angels that look like the Ramones.

1:17 - 1:25 - More random animation of Paul and Linda being watched by the real Paul and Linda. I like how you can't see what the animations are doing with their hands...something implicit? Their heads sort of move oddly too. My mind is in the gutter, I know.

1:27 - 1:31 - A bad outtake from the original Superman movie with a few flying objects.

1:32 - A horse painted in black light?

1:53 - Two Paul McCartney's for the price of one. Even better is the computer generated fire burning behind them.

2:00- Paul and his friends start a bonfire somewhere and dance around it with their instruments.

2:07 - Paul should know better in that you don't take the "Christ" out of "Christmas"

2:47 - One of the worst guitar solos ever.

3:00 - Is that Robert Deniro?

Ugh, I give up...this video blows more than the song itself.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weekend Rant


So we got the first snowstorm of the year here in NY and of course there are people out on the roads with little more than their front windshield scraped clean. How can you drive with all of your windows, mirrors, and especially back windshield covered?!? C'mon, how lazy can you be?

Even worse are people who don't clean the top of their cars...especially SUVs. I can't wait to avoid large chunks of icy snow flying off cars while driving around this weekend. Its like that scene in Robocop where the bad guys throw a person out the back of their truck onto Robocop's police car while he's chasing them.

I love the winter...

Christmas joke of the day:

Q: What's the difference between a snow man and a snow woman?

A: Snow balls

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Classic TV Shows - Growing Pains



I completely forgot that this show took place on Long Island. I'm not sure where but based on the somewhat neighborhood like scenary (and relatively lack of crime) its probably Suffolk county and not Nassau county. Anyway, the show revolved around a hard working family with three (later four) kids. Let's examine the characters a little more closely.

Jason Seaver (played by Alan Thicke)


First of all, I love that last name...no, not Seaver...Thicke. Anyway, Jason was a psychiatrist who worked out of his home and seemed to do well enough. At least well enough to build an extension over the garage where Mike and his friends would later move into. The actor Alan Thicke also hosted a cool sounding talk show "In the Thicke of the Night" that sounds more like the title of a porn movie. Also the father of that hack singer Robin Thicke.

Maggie Seaver (played by Joanna Kearns)



Maggie was a reporter for a TV station. It didn't seem like a major network so perhaps it was Channel 12 news? Maggie was pretty sexy for her age and I remember seeing the actress portraying her in an early 90's TV movie about her seducing one of her sons friends.

Mike Seaver (played by Kirk Cameron)


I don't know who the Cameron's parents were but they must pray to God each night to have not one but two kids in show business. Not only that but both were also on hit shows (Kirk's sister Candace was on "Full House" for of those of who slept under rocks growing up). Anyway, Mike was the teen hearthrob yet somehow surrounded himself with friends named "Boner". He also dated a blonde girl on the show for awhile that later turned up in an adult movie in real life. Ended up meeting his real life wife on the show and is still married to her. A HUGE...I'm talking HUGE...follower of Jesus Christ. The above picture makes me want to punch him too.

Carol Seaver (played by Tracey Gold)



Another family that had multiple siblings on other TV shows (Tracy's sister was the young blond girl on Benson...its sad that I knew that off the top of my head and didn't need to look that up). Carol was the brainy sister much like Lisa Simpson. Deep inside that steel exterior was an actress going through bulemia. It got so bad they took her off the air for half a season. I found her much more attractive while she was sufering through bulemia than when she was heavier but don't think I'm a jerk because I didn't know she was bulemic at the time. I didn't even KNOW what bulemia was at the time. Anyway, Tracey was last scene in a Lifetime movie not too long ago.

Ben Seaver (played by Jeremy Miller)



Ben started off as a little kid but by season three was as tall as Mike. Ben also seemed to get into the most trouble. I have no idea what Jeremy Miller is doing these days.

Yes, there was that red haired girl Ashley who came later as well as Leonardo DiCaprio playing the homeless kid Mike and Ben take in the final season, but these are the core players. Let's take a quick look at that immortal theme song. Notice the classic "through the years" montage of each actor as well as that bit they'd do at the end when one of the family members are left starting at the camera as the rest of the family goes inside. The female voice on this show sounds a bit like Shakira but I don't think she was born yet when this came out.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

#1 Christmas Song Of All Time - Another Auld Lang Syne


Ah yes...when you hear that delicate piano intro of this song you know you are not only in for a sonic treat but for an epic journey. Some people firmly believe that Jesus will return to us at some point in the future. I say He has already come...in the form of Dan Fogelberg. This song is his sermon for life.

The song starts off with Mr. Fogelberg running into somebody he used to have a sexual relationship with in his local supermarket on Christmas Eve. In today's age of Super Stop and Shops and Walbaums, this is pretty impressive by itself. Even better, is that they run into each other in the "frozen foods" section of the store. Looks like a major rockstar like Dan Fogelberg buys frozen processed foods like the rest of us.

I won't go through all the lyrics but I like the line in how they hugged and she dropped her purse on the ground and they "laughed until they cried". I can never think of anybody laughing until they cried unless it involved something humorous...not something as mundane as that.

Now comes the weird part of the song...they decide to catch up over a drink at a bar but the bars are closed. So instead they decide to grab some beers at a liquor store and get a little tipsy in his old girlfriend's car. Don't you think that if you're in a town where the bars are closed on Christmas Eve, that the liquor stores are closed? The only place where you can get beer 24 hours a day is a 7-11 but the below line loses its magnitude:

"We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the 7-11
And we drank it in her car"

So now they're in the car getting a bit of a buzz and he finds out she married an architect but doesn't know if she loves him anymore. Dan senses the opportunity here and complements her on her blue eyes but can't tell if he crossed the line or flattered her. Meanwhile Dan is grinding away on the road saying the "audience was heavenly" (meaning groupies and hookers) but the travelling was taking its toll.

Finally, the story ends as she drops him off and drives away but not before giving Dan a kiss. If I was in Dan's shoes, I would have made a major move on her. Just think, he's a famous musician and she's a lonely housewife. They've already banged each other before too. Dan even mentions that he feels like he's back in school again feeling some heartache. Dan is the biggest fool I know.

Anyway, some unanswered questions here:

1.) It was very dangerous for Dan's ex-girlfriend to drive away after drinking 3 beers. Hopefully the local cops don't pick her up.

2.) The ex-girlfriend's husband (the architect) would most likely be pissed to know his wife took forever to go out and get some groceries and then ended up drinking beers with an ex lover.

3.) Either Dan gained weight or has aged badly as she doesn't immediately recognize him at first. Yet she later says she's seen his pictures on his albums in the record store. Dan must use airbrushed pictures or a photoshop to help him look better.

Anyway, I am taking all of this way too literally but this song has everything I love in a guilty pleasure song. A goofy story, a nice string arrangement, some awesome vocal harmonies, and odd rhymes ("bagged" and "dragged"). I have to admit that I hate the saxophone part at the end.

So in closing, because I can write so much about one song, this is my favorite Christmas song.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Top 7 Christmas Songs: Today 7-2



Christmas season is upon us and God help us who are stuck in offices forced to listen to holiday music all day every day. I really think that the easiest way to become a millionaire is to write a holiday song or a children's book. The royalties must be HUGE. Just think, Andrew Ridgely from Wham probably makes more money from that "Last Christmas...I gave you my heart" song than anything he did in Wham. There are a few songs that I do like and hopefully you've heard of them.

7.) Frank Sinatra's "Happy Holidays" - At least I think that's the name of the song. Its the song where he goes "and doop-dee-doo and hickory-DOCK". I'm a sucker for old school 50's music and this one covers the gambit. Old school female choir-sounding like background singers, a full blown orchestra, and bombast singing. Frank may be dead, but the best of what he represents lives on in this song.

6.) Celine Dion's "O Holy Night" - This is probably my favorite Christmas song and like many of them, there have been tons of different versions. The only reason I put the Celine Dion version on here is because I just heard it last night. Two reasons I love this song. 1.) Not many songs have the lyric "Faaaaall on your kneeeeees"...I giggle when I think of people singing that line. 2.) The huge note at the end of the song...I can't make out the words but it always gives me chills.

5.) Andy Williams's "Its The Most Wonderful Time Of Year" - This song just oozes the holiday season and Andy Williams, a good singer of standards to begin with, sounds pretty good. I like the richness in his voice and if I could put that richness on a Reese's peanut butter cup sundae, it would taste even better.

4.) The Jackson 5's "Up On The House Top" - This is a sentimental value one for me as you don't hear it that often on the radio. I liked it since I played it in 5th grade concert band. This version is a little frantic, even for the 70's Motown sound of the Jackson 5. Little Michael sounds smooth here.

3.) John Lennon's "Happy XMAS (War is Over) - I used to hate this song but heard it a few times in the last couple of weeks and have fallen in love with it. Lennon sounds so good here and the lyrics are very relevant today as well. Of course he trades line with Yoko Ono who basically shrieks and screams her lines. At least they add children to help her out with the lines. She makes Lennon sound really good when he starts singing his parts. I have to admit that its odd a nice catholic fellow like John Lennon would take the "Christ" out of "Christmas".

2.) I'm going to save myself a lot of time but posting the link to this song that I've already talked about. Use it as a guide the next time you here it...it will really open your eyes and make you slightly more popular at your Christmas party.

http://hungieman.blogspot.com/2008/10/charity-singles-of-1980s-part-one-do.html


I'll be back tomorrow...yes I promise, tomorrow...with my number 1 song. It needs its own breakdown and not just a little summary.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Awesomely Bad Videos - Bad Boy by Gloria Estefan



I was very disappointed in the fact that I couldn't post Journey's "Separate Ways" video a couple of weeks ago so to make it up for it, I give you an even stranger video of a somewhat underrated song.

The Miami Sound Machine became somewhat of a huge act in the 80's and its lead singer, Gloria Estefan, was the face of the band. This song was one of their first big hits hit and the video that went along with it was probably of the more odd ones you'd find in the early days of MTV...watch and follow along.



0:00 - 0:20 - Gloria Estefan must really not like this guy since she'd rather wander off into a dangerous alley then go back to his place and probably get sexually assaulted...tough call here. She also sports a mullet type haircut which is odd since this video was from 1985 and the mullet became popular a few years later. Could she have started the trend?

0:20-0:35 Dancing cats! I can't remember which came out first...this video or the Broadway musical Cats. Either way, the costumes look pretty similar.
EDIT: I found out that the cats in this video are indeed played by the cast of Cats. Excuse me as I pat myself on the back here.

0:36 - 1:00 Gloria seems to be smitten by the cats and takes probably the hugest gamble of life spending the next three minutes with them. Here we get to meet most of them through various forms of dancing and bad lip syncing.

1:03 - 1:24 It was hard to find an early 80's video that didn't feature a group dance segment (see "Love Is A Battlefield", "One Night In Bangkok", and any Michael Jackson video). Notice the complete lack of rhythm Gloria shows here. Love the arm cross move at the end of this part.

1:25 - 1:44 The black cat leader makes his move on Gloria and what you see here has to be one of the most understated sexually explicit moves of all time when his...ahem...tail appears at the 1:32 mark.

1:47 - Is the cat wearing MC Hammer pants? Again, this video is from 1985!

1:49-1:54 - Now appears one of the most perverted scenes ever in a video. A cat is looking at a "Play Cat", the equivalent of "Playboy" I presume. When he shows you the centerfold, its a baby kitten! That's the most insane thing I've ever seen. These cats are not only extremely horny, alcoholic, and crazed dancers, but are pedophiles as well.

2:22-2:24 Somehow Gloria kept a live goldfish on her body somewhere to tip this guy.

2:28 - 2:44 More group dancing...I have to admit I'm a sucker for these types of things.

3:03 - Another precursor of things to come...a cell phone! Amazing...

3:23 - This cat cop sort of looks like of of those Geico cavemen people.

3:55-end Uh-oh...the creepy boyfriend apparently never left and has been waiting for Gloria the whole time. He also looks extremely pissed. He shows his jealous side thinking she's somebody else and when she walks away from him AGAIN...he runs after to her, though now she sports a giant tail.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Downtime

Somebody once said, "Everybody needs some downtime...y'know, time to relax, reflect, and turn off the engines for a bit to rest the batteries". I also once saw on a truck, "Behind a bouncing ball is a running child, please drive safely", which I thought was brilliant.

Anyway, between the holidays, the end of the year push at work, getting sick, and just general busy-ness, I've been putting updates on the blog here on hold. Things will stay like that for a little while longer but I'd figure I'd reflect on recent pop culture media I've seen the last few weeks.

Movies:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skulls (2008)



The title of this movie has to go along with some of the dumbest titles ever ("Hello God? It's me Mary Margaret" comes to mind). The movie itself was a LOT better than I thought it was going to be with the exception of the final 5-10 minutes which really made no sense. Let's just say Indiana Jones was never meant to be onscreen with a flying saucer. Shai LaBeouf or whatever his name is grew on me as the movie went along and Harrison Ford really didn't change much at all. I guarantee you this though...no way would he marry that woman at the end of the movie...she had more lines on her face than a piece of graph paper.

The Thing (1982)



Oh baby, this movie shot up towards my top 10 list movies of all time. Yes its 25 years old but it has everything a great horror movie should have. Gruesome but very inventive special effects, a great plot, and a constant fear that not everything is what it seems. There was a so-so remake of this movie called "The Faculty" not too long ago but the original is the best. The cast is very random too...it has Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, who was the black guy from the TV show 'Designing Women', the black Dad from the first scene of "There's Something About Mary" when Ben Stiller zips up his nut, and Richard Masur who played Stan in the movie "It". If you haven't seen this movie yet, trust me and seek it out.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)



I really enjoyed this movie. I love Ed Norton ever since his debut in Primal Fear and I read the comic book growing up so it seemed like a win/win. The effects hold up although I have no idea what they did with the bad guy/monster at the end. The bad guy had just finished demolishing all of Harlem, nothing could stop him, and the Hulk nearly died beating him....and now they're going to contain him somewhere? I'd love to see what happened 5 minutes later after they threw him in a cell.

TV Shows

Law and Order



I started getting into this show again. I like the cast which now includes the black recruit from "Old School" who's concrete block falls through the sewer grate and pulls him off the roof by his balls. Its interesting seeing him play a cop now.

Heroes



I'm really trying hard to like this show but it really is all over the place. The episode last Monday was the worst. Characters literally are acting like different people in the same episode. I don't understand why Sylar killed Elle when he already had her powers. I'll hang on to this show until the very end but it looks like the magic of season 1 is long gone.

Saturday Night Live



Welcome back old friend, you've been missed.

King Of The Hill



A shame this is being cancelled...no show consistently makes me laugh harder today and it almost ranks in the "makes me laugh the hardest" of all time which includes seasons 5-8 seasons of the Simpsons, Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the McGruber and TV Funhouse skits on SNL, and the Best of Triumph The Insult Comic Dog DVD.

Music:

Led Zeppelin bootlegs



If you were in a car with me from 1995-2000 I pretty much subjected you to poorly recorded Led Zeppelin concerts from 1970-1980. Thanks to the beauty of the Internet and an Ipod, I've been revisiting the best moments of their career in all their "this sounds like it was recorded from the bathroom" glory. Unfortunately for my wife, that means about 50 hours of Zep including 20 versions of forty minute versions of "Dazed and Confused"....God bless her.

80's on 8 (Satellite Radio) - When I'm tired of Zeppelin, I've been listening to this station more and more...they have a lot of golden nugget type songs that I love.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Awesome Death Scenes - Mickey



Was watching a little bit of TV this weekend and came across Rocky 3. This is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again because it moves at a fast (and unrealistic) pace. People love Mr. T, the "Eye Of The Tiger" song, and the famous semi-homosexual run on the beach between Rocky and Apollo Creed. My favorite part though is this. I'm not sure who got the Oscar for best actor in 1982 but Sylvester Stallone deserves some mention after this scene.



Two quick notes:

1.) I highly recommend taking your finger and switching between Rocky's open eye and the eye swollen shut. It shows you the scene in two very different ways.

2.) If anybody can tell me what Rocky is saying between the :16 and :21 second mark and also between the :34 second mark until the end, I'm impressed. It sounds like he's saying "we have more to do" but his sobbing and screams get in the way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carvel Ice Cream



Friendly's Ice Cream and Baskin Robbins may be the two big name ice cream places growing up in the 80's but to me, there's an ice cream place that I hold near and dear to my heart...Carvel.

Although Friendly's has interestingly named sundaes like the "Jim Dandy" and "Reese's Peanut Butter Cup", and Baskin Robbins has a gazillion flavors along with the iconic Cappochino Blast, Carvel was just your simple ice cream place. Mainly based in New York, it was a family owned company and it was THE place to go to get a Fudgie The Whale, Cookie Puss, or Tom Turkey cake. My favorite were the flying saucers.

Sadly, there are not too many Carvels around anymore but their commercials live on here...




After looking at the above, the eyes and nose of Cookie Puss looks like a set of testicles and a flaccid penis. I love the grandfatherly voice at the end. He died a few years ago at the age of 90 I think.

Lastly, here's a the classic Carvel jingle that will stay in your head the rest of today...trust me. This is actually a very sexy ice cream commercial if you admire the steam and sweatyness of the desserts here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Post #2 - Bleeding Eardrums

Watch closely at the end of this clip. Looks like someone cranked up the volume in John Clayton's earpiece a tad too loud. I made the exact same reaction when I heard country music for the first time.


Clayton (02)
Uploaded by bsap11

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Random Weekend Thought


I was flipping around on TV earlier this week and came across the movie "American Beauty". I'm not going to rehash the plot or go into how deep the movie is and the great acting performances. I just have one question...

Thora Birch's character (Kevin Spacey's daughter in the movie) complains about how she's saving for breast implants. Did you SEE how big they already were in movie? She even gets nude in the movie and shows them off! This is almost the entire basis of her and Wes Bentley's relationship (her boyfriend in the movie).

I've lost all respect for her character now and the movie is taken down a step. I'm kicking myself for not noticing this the other times I've seen this movie.

Enjoy the weekend...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Larry Merchant and Jim Grey

I used to love boxing. There were many great names and fighters in the late 80's and 90's. Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Razor Ruddock, Riddick Bowe....heck I liked old George Foreman, Tommy "Rocky V" Morrison, and "Smokin'" Bert Cooper.

Although boxing today isn't as exciting as it used to be (at least in the heavy weight division), one constant has remained and his name is Larry Merchant.

Larry Merchant has been announcing boxing fights as long as I can remember. Jim Lampley, an announcer I can't stand, and he have been doing most of the top fights for the last 20 years or so. As much as I purely hate Jim Lampley, I have the ability to hate Larry Merchant even more but unlike Lampley, I have come to love Larry Merchant as well. Confused?

Larry Merchant can sound like he just found out his entire family was killed earlier in the day. He has no personality, rarely smiles, and just has this depressing auro around him.

Below are some of my favorite Larry Merchant moments.

1.) This gets interesting around the one minute mark and watch Floyd's face as Larry is asking the question. He basically dresses him down for the next minute. Beautiful...





2.) This is even better...don't ever interupt a Larry Merchant post fight interview. I love the boxer's face though. He should be on his way to a hospital rather than answering mundane questions.



On a side note, this is my favorite dressing down of a reporter ever. Its James Toney slamming Jim Grey, the biggest weasel of all reporters. The longest, most random rant ever starts at :25 seconds in and ends with Jim Gray almost getting bitch slapped at the 1:51 mark. Jim is a pro though and calmly walks over to Evander Holyfield and leads with a typical negative question.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Classic Songs - The Rain

When getting ready for work I'll flip between CNBC and VH1 Classic. The other morning I saw a video for a song I love that I didn't know a video even existed for. That song is the classic "The Rain" by an even more classic named artist Oran "The Juice" Jones.

The song is in two parts. The first part is the a nice high falsetto voice of a guy stating that he saw his woman (and "him") walking in the rain and stated that things will now never be same. I love high falsetto singing voices by the way (see the Bee Gees, Frankie Valli, and "Please Don't Go Girl" by the New Kids On The Block.)

The second part of the song is a rap where the guy completely rips the girl apart. Some of things he says are things I'll still use today...but never to my wife.

"I gave you things you couldn't even pronounce."
"You without me is like corn flakes without the milk!"
"This is my world, you're just a squirel trying to get a nut!"

Seeing this video for the first time is almost like the first time I stumbled across a very scrambled channel 26 on my parent's cable system back in the early 90's....pure bliss.


video

Monday, November 10, 2008

Space Camp




Super quick from last Friday...I'm still going to update the site on a regular basis...just not daily like I tried to in the past. Expect 2-3 posts per week and I might add more to that but just quick posts of funny things I tend to find on the web. Also, you now have a whole net set of songs to listen to. Moving along...

With Joaquin Phoenix oddly announcing his retirement from acting last week to pursue a movie career, it made me think of one his first roles when he was known as "Leaf" Phoenix. This movie had it all...tense action, a love story, some humor, and a very annoying robot. That movie is Space Camp.

There actually was a bit of a space camp fad in the mid 80's. You could apply to go to what I'm assuming was Cape Canaveral in Florida and take part in a camp for kids to simulate going up into space. It lasted two weeks and it promised an experience of a lifetime. I thought about doing it but then realized that being away from home for two weeks would make me sad. Lucky for me, they made a movie right around the same time and believe me, it made me so glad I never went.

Space Camp was pretty much about a bunch of kids who accidentally got sent into space thanks to the above mentioned robot's love for Joaquin Phoenix's character who really wanted to go into space. The robot was savvy enough to actually send a real shutting into space but didn't realize that none of the snotty brat teenagers had any real experience. Space Camp actually taught me a lot about space travel.

1.) There's a limited amount of air on a space ship and you could die if you run out of air. Again, I was 9 when this came out and didn't comprehend things like this.

2.) You could be burned to a crisp during re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

3.) Driving a space shuttle is very much like a video game....a fun one at that.

The cast in this movie is quite spectacular. It runs the gambit of the wide range of actors...take a look.

1.) Joaquin Phoenix - he'd go onto classics like Gladiator and semi classics like We Own The Night.

2.) Kate Capshaw - she was in Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom and later married Steven Spielberg. She actually looks pretty hot here.

3.) Lea Thompson - another hot chick, she was in the Back To Future movies and a movie I never understood called "Casual Sex?".

4.) Kelly Preston - another hottie, she was best known in Twins but has shown on late night Cinemax movies from time to time. Has settled down and is now married to John Travolta.

5.) Larry B. Scott - the name might not ring a bell but he's been in two iconic movies. He was the black gay guy in Revenge of the Nerds and also was a member of the Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid. Throw this movie into his resume, and he's looking pretty good.

6.) Tom Skerrit - One of my favorite actors, you can find him in the first Alien, the Christopher Walken classic "The Dead Zone", and in the underrated movie "Contact". He scored major squeamish points for making out with a barely legal Drew Barrymore in the first Poison Ivy movie.

Here's a clip of the movie. Its the scene where they accidentally get blasted into space.



Mind you, I would be COMPLETELY FREAKING OUT if I was sent into space and not laughing while floating around aimlessly. Then again being trapped in close quarters with Lea Thompson and Kelly Preston wouldn't be that bad...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Orange Crush Soda



When I was a little kid, I would visit my Dad at work and in his office building was a soda machine full of Crush brand soda. My two favorite flavors were grape and orange. Back then a can of soda cost 40 cents (I'm getting old).

I don't know if they make Crush soda anymore. When people think of Orange soda, they usually think of Sunkist and when people think of Grape soda, they think of Welches. Orange Crush soda, this is my ode to you although the REM song by the same name is pretty good too.

Below is an old commercial for Diet Crush soda. I like how they assume that drinking diet soda will cause you to lose a lot of weight or at least have a model type figure.



Four things I like here.

1.) All soda commercials seem to feature soda cans that are really really sweaty.

2.) At 19 seconds, the special effect to make the can of soda burst through the bowl of oranges. I'd like to see how many times they had to shoot that to get it just right.

3.) The lady taking off her shirt at the 25 second mark is nipping out. I wonder if this was shot on a cold day.

4.) How many takes did that lady throwing the soda can take? She waits until the last second to throw it, does it super quick, and the guy has lean back and reach completely back to snag it. I'm impressed here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Classic Videos - Separate Ways by Journey

Today we now have a new leader of the free world and in honor of saying goodbye to the Republican party being in control, I thought of this song.

I love Journey...actually that's not exactly true. I like Journey, but I LOVE Steve Perry. Journey can tour all they want these days but its not "my" Journey until Steve Perry plays with them again. So for now, I have to live in the past and there's nothing better than this song from 1983. the original video has it all...from the band miming the playing of their instruments as well as dramatic poses from Mr. Perry and the band themselves.

Sadly You Tube does not allow me to post the original version of Separate Ways on a website.

For what its worth the link to the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxxOyGK1pMk but the live version is almost just as good...



There's not much to comment on as the song itself tells the story. These guys could play their balls off and I challenge anybody to try and recreate this song live and make it sounds just as good as the original. Still, there are some random things here to mention.

:14 - I love the walking backwards strut Steve Perry pulls off here.

:23 - The fact that yellow jumpsuits with black tee shirts were ever in style is amazing.

:50-:53 - nothing makes me laugh more than hand gestures by singers. A great fist clench here.

1:32 - Another band member sporting the yellow and black look. Check out that bass too without the frets at the top.

5:08 - What is Steve Perry saying here?

Until next time...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pre-Election Day Madness

Tomorrow is the big day and the new leader of the free world will either be John McCain or Barrack Obama. Since this a pop culture blog, I'm not going to get into political issues at all. I will post a couple political items I've seen lately that I think are hilarious.

First is Barrack POSSIBLY giving McCain the finger at a rally.



I personally don't think he is but try it yourself and see how weird it feels to scratch your face with your middle finger.

Anyway, below is I think one of the wittiest things I've ever seen. Somebody took Bush's State of The Union Address from 2004 and turned it into something different...listen closely and you'll be rewarded by watching the whole thing.



Brilliant!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Teddy Ruxpin


"Hi boys and girls, my name is Teddy Ruxpin...can you and I be friends? I really enjoy talking to you."

Those words set off a maelstrom of parents credit cards being swiped around the holiday seasons on 1984-1986.

I don't remember much about Teddy Ruxpin because I didn't get sucked into buying one. I do recall the endless commercials featuring him and his pal Grubby. A friend of mine had one and I believe you'd put a cassette tape in his back and then he'd start talking and read you a story. With Grubby, you'd hit play on both their tapes at the same time and it would sound like they were having a conversation. Pretty heady stuff 20 years ago.

Teddy Ruxpin was huge, getting his own cartoon but like most fads, he petered out and is a relic of the times.

Anyway, here's an old commercial for Teddy and his pals. I forgot how much I loved how that little girl screams "Its Grubby!" at the 11 second mark. You can still find him today welcoming you to the FAO Schwartz in New York City.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Neverending Story



Every year in elementary school, I guess the teachers had a lot of papers to grade so they'd get all of the classes together to watch a movie. It always seemed to be one of two movies...the first was "Cloak and Dagger" which, other than the lady pulling her glove off to reveal a missing finger, was really boring to me. The other movie...oh my...the other movie I still quote today. Today, we look at The Neverending Story.

The Neverending Story was released I think around the mid 80's and was just really out there. It was about a boy, Bastian (awesome name by the way), who steals an old book from an old bookstore and decides to read the ENTIRE book in one stormy night. The book itself looks like its over a 1000 pages so I guess the kid was a pretty good reader. This is where the movie really takes off.

The story itself involves a place called Fantasia that's slowly being disintegrated into nothingness by a thing called "The Nothing". Fantasia's last hopes are pinned on another young boy named Atreyu. Of course Atreyu runs into some serious problems like his horse dying via sinking into mud, getting nowhere with a giant turtle, and nearly getting vaporized by two weird looking statues.

Instead of recapping the entire plot, let's look at some scenes.

The first scene is probably one of the saddest scenes ever in a kids movie. Everybody loves horses so to see one sink in the mud is pretty wild.



Three things I love about this scene though...the first is the horse is sinking literally into something called "the swamp of sadness"...the second is how Atreyu says "c'mon you stupid horse...and finally, the fade to black as Atreyu lets out that scream". Who thought horses could get sad? Good stuff.

Next up is the weird turtle like creature. The only reason I put this video on here is because his head coming out of the hill there scared the sh*t out of me when I was 8 years old.



Now we get some comic relief although some shots of Falcor were really creepy looking. This clip pretty much runs the gambit of this. I love that creepy look he gives at the :21 second mark too and those weird facial expressions around the 1:21 mark.



This next scene also scared me with those crazy sphinx type statues. The below clip starts off pretty slow but if you fast forward to around the 4 minute mark you'll see what I mean.



Then there's possible the greatest soliloquy in movie history. I give you the Rock Biter. Listen to his words...its like he's starting a new religion and who thought rocks could cry?



Lastly, I give you one of the scariest creatures ever in film. The creature's name was Gmork but I just called him the scary wolf thing. This was the final showdown in the movie. I love how Atreyu says "Come for me Gmork...I am Atreyu".



Well that's that. I highly recommend this film if you've never seen it or rent it for your kids to see as it shows you the true meaning of courage. It will also give them nightmares too...Artex!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Driving On Long Island


I'm going to switch gears today and talk about something I've been observing the past year or two...lousy driving etiquette. I drive roughly 25,000 miles a year so I've seen a lot of craziness out there. Here are some examples and proposed solutions.

1.) I'm pretty mild mannered but the one thing that can set me off immediately are people who lay on the horn behind you at a red light when said red light turns green.

Solution: Give a two quick toots of the horn. Its more friendly than a long blast.

2.) I'll be driving on major highways doing 70mph and will be passed by a car who's driver has a dog on their lap. Are you kidding me? I think its safer driving with a child on your lap than a dog. At least a child will stay put while a dog constantly moves around. Highly dangerous.

Solution: Put the stupid dog in a crate or in the backseat. Or just leave it home and let it shit all over your carpet.

3.) I'm at a red light intersection going straight and the guy facing me going the other way making a left turn nearly cuts me off when he guns it as soon as the light turns green. Can't you wait another minute or two? What's the rush? This is usually where I almost get into accidents.

Solution: Chill out and listen to your hip hop with the bass that shakes the mirrors on your car for another minute, let the traffic clear, and then make your left turn.

4.) Tinted windows....I can't STAND tinted windows. I rarely wish very bad things to happen to people but these people I hope blow out their transmissions or lose a treasured pet. Tinted windows are illegal in the first place so they are getting them knowing they are breaking the law.

Solution: Nothing really can be done but I've honked my horn driving by people who have gotten pulled over at this.

5.) Motorcycles. I'm probably jealous but I hate the fact that motorcycles weave in and out of traffic at their leisure. They are also hard to catch by the police too adding to my jealousy.

Solution: I guess the easiest way to solve this problem is to open your door as they try to drive by you in a traffic jam. That would be pretty cool but would most likely damage your car in the process. Motorcyclists are more prone to fall off their vehicle than a driver of a car would so I guess you're in deep trouble if you get into a motorcycle accident.

6.) People who play Scrabble on their phone while stuck in traffic or watch 80's music videos on their IPOD while driving home at work. Talk about distracted driving, that's probably the stupidest thing a person can do.

Solution: Oh wait, that's me...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taking A Day Off But Let's Try An Experiment


Things are too busy to put together a proper post today but I want to try something out.

1.) Go to the Yahoo search engine (not Google) and type in the url of this website, www.hungieman.blogspot.com.

2.) The only entry that should show up is on a Wesley Snipes website...called Rocketnews-Wesley Snipes.

3.) Click on the cache link, not the main link, and the page it takes you too references this blog at the bottom.

Random right?

I guess somebody is a huge fan of Wesley Snipes and anytime his name is mentioned on a blog, it goes on this Rocketnews website. I had mentioned him when I did the top 10 trilogies for Blade and it somehow ended up on that Wesley Snipes fan page.

Since Wesley Snipes is getting four mentions in this post alone, I'm intrigued to see if this it will show up again on that website...I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Charity Singles Of The 1980's - Part One - "Do They Know Its Christmas?"



The 1980's had several charity singles to promote a worthy cause or raise awareness to different world issues. The Granddaddy of them all is the holiday music staple "Do They Know Its Christmas?".

Written by Bob Geldof (probably best known as the actor who played "Pink" in the Pink Floyd movie, "The Wall"), he wanted to promote awareness to the fact that people in Africa are starving. So while the more well off people are enjoying the Christmas season, the poor people in countries like Ethiopia might not even know what Christmas is. Hence, this song.

Alright I'll admit, as much as I don't like poor hungry Africans starving to death, I LOVE this video. In fact, I'll play it for friends after a night of drinking and see how many people they can get right (lame, yes...but try it sometime). If you can stand the detailed review below, trust me, you will NEVER look at this song or video the same way again and will impress your family and friends when the song comes on the radio. Let's go through the video for some highlights shall we?



0:00-0:14 The opening of the video. That's Bob Geldof in his 80ish trench coat around the 0:07 second mark. I love the quick glance of the bass player for Duran Duran as well as Sting.

0:15 - 0:30 - The first line is sung by Paul Young who is best known for the song "Everytime You Go Away" which was actually written by Darryl Hall of Hall and Oates? That alone will score you points in the completely worthless trivia category if there was one. He's also one of the few people who get more than one line.

0:31 - 0:43 Oh yes, Boy George! I'm not sure if he was banging his drummer at this time or if they had broken up but he looks pretty happy here.

0:44-0:48 I absolutely LOVE Phil Collins and to know he played drums on this song is pretty sweet to me. He also shows off the textbook "drummer face" at the :47 second mark. More on him later...

0:49-0:57 George Michael's turn. He's still baby faced here and I'm assuming liking women at this point in his life.

0:58-1:07 - A weird transition here to Simon LeBon, the lead singer of Duran Duran. Its like he's interrupting George Michael. I love how he grabs his headphones for extra dramatic effect too.

1:08-1:13 Hey now, look who magically appears next to Simon...its Sting with a trendy red scarf. Its a shame that this duet lasts only 5 seconds.

1:14-1:22 - The dude joining in here is the guy who sings the song "True". He was lucky that True was a hit around the time they recorded this song or he'd be singing in the background chorus with Bananarama (I'll show you later).

1:22-1:30: The greatest combination of voices around one microphone since the Beatles? Seriously...try and out do that one!

1:30-1:36 Perhaps the most famous lyric of the 1980's. If I ever had the chance to meet Bono, I would forgo cheesy questions and beg him to utter "WELL TONIGHT THANK GOD ITS THEM....INSTEAD OF YOUUUUUUUU!!!"

1:37-1:39 - A classic Phil Collins drum fill.

1:40-1:52 Some interesting things here...not sure who the bird necked guy you see before Sting is. At 1:45 the guy on the right with the drumstick is Boy George's secret lover. I also like the goofy guitar moves around the 1:48 mark yet you can't hear a single guitar anywhere on the song.

1:53-1:55 - There are only two ad libs on the entire song and Boy George gets them both.

1:56 - 2:09 - Random combinations of people and more fake guitar playing.

2:15-2:25 - The middle breakdown section and Paul Young again gets the forefront. I don't know why he got the first vocal and such a prominent spot. Bob Geldof isn't anywhere to be found on this song either. In fact where were other British superstars like Eric Clapton, Elton John and David Bowie?

2:26 - 2:41 - My favorite part...carloads of random 80's bands showing up to sing background vocals. I'm not sure all of them are but a few are easy....Bananarama at 2:28...Kool and The Gang at 2:29...Sade at 2:30. Listen for the classic drum fill by Phil Collins between 2:32-2:34.

2:41- End - The big finish featuring lots of playing around. Some quick questions...

1.) At 2:51, how does Bananarama stand closer to a microphone than Sting?!?
2.) Who is the random guy at 2:55 in the random suit looks like he has no place to stand and sing...I feel bad for him and he gets caught by the camera too.
3.) Who is smoking at 2:59? Sade?
4.) Again, how does Bananarama get front and center as seen at 3:41? Look at Bono using something like a fork to keep the beat. I love his hat there too...shades of the "serious" U2 on their soon to be released "The Joshua Tree" album.

Back tomorrow for the USA's response to this song...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ranking The Facts Of Life Characters


The Facts of Life was a staple of my boring Saturday nights watching TV. I also recall this show being in syndication in the afternoon so I caught a lot of this in the summer time as well. In any event, it was a spin off of Different Strokes (how awesome is that) and it featured one of my favorite TV characters of all time...Mrs. Garrett. She was pretty cool for an older lady. Of course the students were pretty neat as well but as a 10 year old, I didn't understand much about weight problems, pregnancy scares, having a period, and even rape (all topics discussed on the show). Anyway, here's my fond memories of the various characters on this show.


5.) Blair


I never really got into Blair since she was sort of the pack leader / bitch of the group. As a kid, I never liked mean people and Blair seemed to be the meanest of them all. Of course she was pretty much the hottest character on the show but to my pre-pubescent eyes, that meant absolutely nothing to me. She still looks pretty good today although the actress that plays her is sort of like Kirk Cameron in that she promotes religion more than anything else today. I never noticed that huge jug of tobasco sauce until just now. She might be moving up the rankings. That's pretty hot...

4.) Natalie


Natalie was the stereotypical "heavy" character on this show. She actually lost weight as the show went on and grew into her face. If I remember right, her character was adopted so that meant several "very special" episodes dealing with that matter. Oddly enough I'll never forget the actresses name, Mindy Cohn, because she was always on the celebrity game show "Hollywood Squares".

3.) Tootie



Tootie pretty much grew up in front of my eyes as she was the youngest actress on the show. She always seemed to have braces or roller skates and was the one who'd get into the most trouble. Kim Fields, the actress who played her, turned into a pretty good looking woman and she was on a Fox show who's name escapes me. Tootie also has to be one of the most random names ever for a TV show character (though "Boner" on Growing Pains is miles ahead number 1).

2.) Jo



Jo was the rebel on the show and who can forget the moment in every opening credits where she removes her motorcycle helmet to reveal her pretty hair. I loved Jo because she was the one who'd crack jokes at Blair's expense and always seemed to dare to cross the line every episode. Sadly, I remember her being in a lot of bad TV movies in the 90's and haven't seen anything from her in years.



1.) Mrs. Garrett



I watched a lot of TV as a kid and the closest thing that I could identify to a TV grandmother was Mrs. Garrett. She was kind, warm hearted, and seemed to know how to have a good time. Of course I had two grandmothers growing up but if I could have a third grandmother, it would have been Mrs. Garrett. Of course Charlotte Rae left the show due to money and as a result, they completely revamped the show bringing in a pre-ER George Clooney, a pre Dancing With The Stars Cloris Leachman, and a pre-nothing MacKenzie Astin (son of Gomez Adams and brother to Frodo).


Honorable Mention:


1.) Geri



Geri was a friend of the girls who I believe had cerebral palsy. She was the first person I had ever seen (in real life or on TV) that had any kind of disability. I'll admit, I thought the slurred speech and jerky mannerisms were an act at first but then realized that the actress playing her actually REALLY had cerebral palsy. Anyway, I'm sure it was good for the actress that played her to have a recurring role on the show (she was a comedian in real life) and I obviously remember her to this day (maybe not for the most ideal reasons).

Anyway, here's the intro from Season 7. I choose this one because its one of the classic, "hey, our show's been on long enough to run a montage of our characters growing up throughout the course of many seasons!", type intros. I hope I don't put this song into your head the rest of today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Classic Public Service Announcements

In the 80's, everybody loved or at least watched Bugs Bunny. I was probably more into the Warner Brothers family of cartoon characters like Bugs, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, and Sylvester & Tweety Bird, than I was into the whole Disney thing.

Somebody had the idea of using children cartoon icons to teach little kids the dangers found in a kitchen. What ensued was this advertisement. I vividly recall seeing this ad on over and over and OVER again while trying to watch my favorite shows like Transformers, Smurfs, and G.I.Joe. I stumbled across it last week though and fell in love it all over again.

Here it is in all its pre "Roger Rabbit style animation mixing cartoons with a live setting" glory.



This was a little scary to me as a kid. I could handle the cobra in the beginning because the coffee pot ended up defeating him but that boiling pot of water was pretty nightmarish. That evil laugh he releases with the fangs and scary eye brows definitely taught me to keep any pot handles facing AWAY from the flame.

I also notice here that Bugs Bunny sounds really REALLY whiny here. I know he's trying to get his point across but he's being a little over dramatic.

Ahhhh, the things you pick up as a kid.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Top 10 Cereals of All Time - Part 2

Continuing on from last Thursday...


5.) Trix


Continuing from last week...

Trix was sort of related to Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks except they were more shaped like marbles. The reason they crack the top 5 though is their mascot, the Trix rabbit. Like Wil E. Coyote, the Trix rabbit could never get his hands on a bowl of the tasty goodness who's box bore his image. As a result, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!" become part of our childhood lexicon. I remember more of an X-rated (and racist) version of the above phrase that I will not put on this website, but feel free to ask me the next time you see me.



4.) Cocoa Rice Krispies



Yes, rice crispies had that snap, crackle, and pop going for it but how about eating cereal out of a nice bowl of chocolate milk. That's what you got when you had a bowl of this cereal. A brilliant concept, I'm not sure if this cereal exists any more but if Rice Krispies was the Tina Yothers of cereals, then chocolate Rice Krispies was the Nicole Eggert...I'm talking about Nicole Eggert circa 1993 in "Blown Away" by the way.


3.) Count Chocula/Frankenberry/Boo Berry



I lumped these all together since they practically are the same cereal except for the flavor of marshmallows. It was a rarity when I had one of these but there's something about marshmallows in cereal that just makes perfect sense. The commercials were the best and they had to be careful not to scare little kids into not eating their cereals. I loved Boo Berry's bowler hat though.






2.) Lucky Charms



Another marshmallow cereal but this one gets the nod in the different colors and shapes. I had a friend of mine who's sister would steal all of the marshmallows out of the box leaving him with just the oats. I'll admit, I'd save the marshmallows for the very end to give my teeth that sugary coating they'd need for a strong day at school. On a side note, it blew my mind when they added the purple horseshoe and all the commercials started showing that random looking purple horse. Lucky Charms popularity is lasting enough to have a bad guy based on the leprechaun in Austin Powers.



1.) Cookie Crisp



Its basically a bag of cookies in a bowl of milk. As much as I'd love marshmallows in milk, eating cookies in milk is even better. This cereal is the only one (other than Special K) that has stayed in a somewhat steady rotation but I have to stop eating it because its so unhealthy for you. It seems like this would be more of a dessert for kids rather than a healthy way to start the day off. You have to appreciate the burglar and his dog mascots they featured as well.





Other mentions:

Frosted Flakes - Waaaaaaaaay too much sweetness on those flakes there. I didn't like how the milk tasted like drinking liquefied sugar either.

Wheaties - Not a big fan of the taste but always enjoyed seeing who the local celebrity was on the box every year.

Total - Like Wheaties, I didn't like the taste but still recall their ad campaign where you had to eat 15 bowls of Wheaties to get the nutrition found in one bowl of Total.

Teddy Grams - This was a favorite for a lot of people but I never got into it. Like Winnie The Pooh, bears only wearing shirts with no pants creep me out.

Life - Mikey may have liked it, but that's probably because he was quiet and never spoke. Did he end up as the horny mute kid in Nightmare on Elm Street 3?

Kix - Promoted as the healthy alternative, I'd rather lick the curb for breakfast than suffer through eating a bowl of this. Parents loved this though.

Nut N' Honey - Another honey based cereal that only sold well because of its dumb but catchy ad campaign....
Husband: "Whatcha eatin' there sweetheart?"
Wife: "Nut N' Honey"
Husband:"No seriously, what are you eating for breakfast?"
Wife:"I told you....nut N' Honey"
Husband: "Damn you, you stupid bitch!!!"