Friday, September 24, 2010

The Most Intense Candy Bar Commercial Ever?

"Nestle' tastes the very best...N E S T L E S."

This damn song from one of the dumbest commercials still worms its way into my head every now and then. I figured I'd look at the commercial where it came from.

Talk about sappy high production values. I love the dude in the beginning. I wish I could see the singer singing this song in the recording booth. Instrumentally, it sounds like it could be a deleted music cue from "The Neverending Story". And how about those background vocals at the 0:15 mark? At least it ends happily with the preppy guy end the girl on the swing ready to enjoy their candy bar together.

Not too many commercials can have the words "creamy white" in it without it being indecent.

I never bought a Nestle bar before, but this song has stayed with me for over 20 years now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Family dinner night! In today's households with little kids this might mean a trip to Appleby's, T.G.I.Fridays, Buffalo Wild Wings, or Friendlys. About 20 years ago, those options were more limited to Bennigans and...well Friendlys I guess. One of these places that will always hold a special place in my heart (and rectum) is Sizzler.

Sizzler had a brilliant concept for little kids. It was basically a buffet full of high fat but delicious food and did I mention it was a buffet? That meant one could mix macaroni and cheese, with a taco, with a chicken finger, with a slice of pizza...HEAVEN to an 8 year old.

Even better was the dessert bar, full of help yourself soft serve ice cream and about gazillion different toppings. Sometimes I wouldn't even eat the ice cream and just go for the toppings....ever have dish full of hot fudge syrup and chocolate chips? Well, I have and its quite tasty!

Sadly, Sizzler slowly closed down their locations and there are a handful left. I had thought it had gone completely out of business until I stumbled across one when I lived in Bayside Queens. My roommate and I went to check it out, to relive our youth, only to find that something terrible had happened in between then and now. We had actually developed good eating habits. After 15 years of not going to a Sizzler and then going back to eat the fried greasy goodness, the food wrecked havoc on our insides. Within a few minutes of eating the main course, I felt my stomach rumbling and if I didn't get home to a bathroom there was going to be some serious consequences. The same thing was happening to my roommate and we bolted out of there and ran a few red lights to get back to our apartment. Let's just say my sphincter was sizzling that night as well.

So to the Sizzler, I say thank you for the memories of your exquisite buffets and mouthwatering dessert bars. I have grown too old for you now but I know that if I ever need an enema of any kind, I can walk through your doors and gorge myself on your plethora of heart attack inducing items.

I almost need to use the bathroom just watching this...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodbye David Hasselhoff

Though he was just elimiated on Dancing With The Stars, he still has his royalty checks from this commercial he shot for Carls Jr. hamburger chain.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Butter!!! (1980's Style)

Butter! Oh salty, greasy, high calorie flavor adding goodness, you don't get enough respect these days that you used to back in the 1980's. Now everyone says that you're the cause of things like HEART DISEASE....HIGH CHOLESTEROL....and OBESITY. For centuries, you were the toast of the food world but now crazy nutritionists are talking about how people should be using cheap substitutes like margarine...or even not using butter at all...bleeeecchhhh.

Even your commercials are dumbed down now. Check out this commercial made by the Dairy Association back in 80's...

Haha! Was that guy enjoying his butter coated food...OR HAVING SEX WITH IT?!? Was that an out of work 80's porn actor with those facial expressions? And did you see how much butter he was pouring on those hot dogs around the :24 second mark? And who puts butter on a pan full of mushrooms anymore? I'd be in orgasmic bliss too!

And how about old friend Molly McButter?

OK so it wasn't really butter...but you can sprinkle it over anything to add some flavor. Sure it was it was loaded with extra salt that cause diabetes but HOLY CRAP, DID YOU CHECK OUT THE AWESOME BLUE SCARF THE LADY IS WEARING?!?

And of course you have the classic Parkay.

SUCK IT COUNTRY CROCK! Good Lord, did you see how much butter this guy put on his bread at the :17 second mark? No way this actor is alive today. This commercial made me plead with my parents to buy Parkay so I could talk to and befriend my butter. Alas, as much as I tried to to coax a simple "parkaaaay" out of it, it never happened.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Top 5 Hall and Oates Songs

In the world of the IPOD and the music industry geared towards singles, its hard for current artists to really gather a long lasting body of work in terms of the pop charts. It still happens today...Beyonce...Rihanna...Nickelback (I just threw up the chowder I had for lunch after that one) but you're probably not going to see too many "Greatest Hits" CD's from most of today's popular artists.

Alright, I'm getting off my soapbox. I want to talk about the all time best selling duo in the history of records...yes they've sold more than such duos like Simon and Garfunkel, Seals and Croft, Tears For Fears, and Coverdale/Page...alright, maybe that wasn't too hard for them to do. But still, you cannot deny the power and back catalog of Daryl Hall and John Oates.

I've already talked about how Hall and Oates was the very first tape I ever bought (Big Bam BOOM). It was recently that I stumbled across a few of their songs I had on my IPOD and before I knew it, I was transported back to 1985 all over again.

Hall and Oates DOMINATED the 80's...they were the Mike Tyson of the Billboard Charts. I won't name them all but from 1980-1990 they pretty much had hit singles every year (including six #1 hits). I seem to gravitate towards the early 1980's Hall and Oates versus the later part of the 80's with this list of their top 5 songs. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be...

#5. "Kiss On My List"

Not the first song when somebody thinks of Hall and Oates but god DAMN if this song doesn't include the recipe for a textbook H&O classic. Uptempo beat, perfect harmony background vocals, great melodies, and an awesome bridge. I'm a huge fan of the Rock Band video game series and I think this would be an excellent song to add. Very underrated guitar solo here too.

#4. I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

Probably one of the most famous and sampled bass lines from the 1980's, this is a MONSTER song. Again, it has another great bridge (the "I'll do anything, that you want me to" part) and amazing harmony vocals. If you like this song as much as I do, I would check out Simply Red's semi-cover version called "Sunrise".

I never did know what the "that" is in reference to the song title.

I always liked the video for this song too. Some things to look out for... the about bright light and smoke machines...Daryl Hall's hair...John Oates terrible attempt at lip syncing is on full display at the 1:21 mark...the saxophone player really having nothing to do with the video but acting like he's part of the band...where's the bass player?!? This video must have taken $1,000 to make.

3.) "Maneater"

This song came out when I was 4 years scared me. That spooky saxophone that plays in the beginning was what did it for me. It sounded like an upbeat dark song if that was possible. Now nearly 30 years later, its full of really ambitious musical ideas. An echoed saxophone solo? How brilliantly simple. Another iconic bass line. Daryl Hall's ad lib singing at the end is great including my favorite ad lib of all time "the woman is wild Oooooooohhhh!!!" at the 4:05 mark of the below video.

Speaking the video, things to look out for. The band "frozen" at the beginning as the camera zooms in on Hall...Hall dancing with only his shoulders at the :48 mark...Oates iconic mullet and mustache never looked better...its the former bandleader of Saturday Night Live at the 1:42 and 2:30 mark, G.E. Smith!..the bass player finger snap at the 2:10 mark...the echoed sax solo. The best moment is Oates miming the "OOOOOoooo!!!" part that Hall sings at the 3:28 mark. Good stuff!

2.) "Private Eyes"

Sing it now..."private eyes are watching you , they see your every moooove". This was probably the hardest Hall and Oates ever got and probably the most guitar they ever used in a song, and damn, do I like that! Another song full of just flat out perfect melodies.

The video always put this one over the top for me. See below and check out the following...the magnifying glass at the 0:18 second mark...the entire band posing for the camera but the bass player just stands there motionless in the middle...the Private investigator outfits at the :47 mark...Oates brief moment at the forefront and mugging for the camera at the 1:28 mark...the "mirroresque" guitar solo at the 1:59 mark that Prince would use to much better use in his "When Doves Cry" video a FULL TWO YEARS LATER...the last minute is just blissed out 1980's.

1.) "One On One"

Yes, its a ballad...but I am huge sucker for ballads. I am also a sucker for great bass playing and this song has one of the most underrated playing in a pop song. I am also a sucker for falsettos (high voices) and Daryl Hall has one of the better ones around. The final minute and a half is a master class in singing. This is almost the perfect pop ballad song and if you can't get a woman's heart to melt over this song...then you're in a seriously troubled relationship.

Just soak the song and video in...the only comment I'll make is that the 1:00 to 1:22 and 1:42 to 2:00 mark shows just how awesomely cheesy the 1980's were.

Honorable mentions:
"You Make My Dreams"
"Out Of Touch"
"Everything Your Heart Desires"
"Say It Ain't So"
"Family Man"
"She's Gone"

There's too many!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oregon Trail - NFL Style

I loved playing Oregon Trail on the PC. Who couldn't resist the thought of you and your closest pals setting forth across the United States in an attempt to start a new life out west? Of course it was a lot easier than it seemed. Between running out of food, your wagon breaking down, bad weather, and of course your wagon sinking while trying cross the numerous rivers, this game was hard as hell. It did help me pick up a lot of vocabulary and phrases that I had never heard of before at the time. These include:

1.) "Caulk the wagon"
2.) "Attempt to ford the river"
3.) Dysentery
4.) Grueling
5.) Cholera
6.) Meager
7.) Bare bones
8.) Rear Axel

What made the game genius was two things...1.) being able to name specific people in the game and 2.) hunting for food. Seeing my Dad get a snake bite or my old friend Dan suffer from exhaustion always made me laugh. Of course it was sad when people died but you did get to put a little epitaph on their tombstone which I always thought was classy (even if you wrote something like "Here lies Mike, he liked tongue kissing old men").

This leads to the below video. Someone had the genius idea of combining the original Oregon Trail with the NFL. It talks a lot about the 2009 season (Favre retiring again from the Jets but then signing with the Vikings...Dante Stallworth's running over somebody...Tom Brady's season opening injury...Plaxico Burress shooting himself...Michael Vick's dog killing, etc.) and its pretty well put together.

I'm sorry for the advertisement in the beginning...its worth it though trust me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dancing Ninjas

What do you get when you mix a classic PC game Karateka with a hardcore DMX song?


Not sure why this makes me laugh...I love this song.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Classic Cartoons - Voltron

"And I'll form....the HEAD".

I'm not sure about you but I've uttered that line at least a few times in my life (not sure what the context would for saying that though). Anyway, it's one of those unintentionally funny lines from movies or TV shows that I like to say from time to time (Others include "You had your chance but you BLEW it!!!" from Cop Land, "I'm afraid alright?!? I'm afraid!!!" from Rocky 3, and "It's game over over!" from Aliens").

Anyway, the above line comes from one of the more underrated cartoons from the 1980's...Voltron. There was a version of Voltron that included 15 vehicles forming Voltron but to me, the classic version is the one with the five lions.

I was mesmerized by the action in the show. The episodes were pretty formulaic. The bad guy would release some evil creature, called Robo Beasts, onto the world and it would be up to five individual guys (actually four guys and one princess) in their respective lions to stop it. Mind you, the individual lions NEVER won so they always ended up having to form Voltron and usually slice the robo-beast in half and everyone goes happy.

The best part of every episode of Voltron was the when the lions formed Voltron. God damn, I tried to reenact this so many times when I was 7 years old trying to contort my body into one of the lions shapes like a leg or an arm but of course I ended up falling over or straining something.

In any event, the iconic line "AND I'LL FORM....THE HEAD" is something I wouldn't mind on my tombstone.

Here's the transformation sequence...I'd try to do those moves again but unlike straining my then little kid self back in the day, I'd probably give my now older self a heart attack.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

1988 World Series Game 1 - RBI Baseball Style

RBI Baseball for Nintendo was a pioneer for all sports video games. It was one of the first games (at least the first baseball game) to use real players. Sure the gameplay was clunky and the graphics very old school, I was now able to have Rafael Santana compete for league MVP and Sid Fernandez for the Cy Young Award. This blew my then 10 year old mind.

Thankfully someone has taken the original gameplay, made some adjustments, and reenacted Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. This game also marked a huge day in blossoming love of sports and features of one of the greatest moments of my childhood...Kirk Gibson's famous home run.

A few things I love about it.

1.) It features one of the greatest video game announcers of all time...Vin Scully (see MLB 1998-2001 on the original PlayStation).

2.) Joe Gargiola was an underrated analysis. I always forget him.

3.) One of my all time favorite sayings by an announcer...Vin Scully's "you talk about a roll of the dice...this is it!". (at the 4:50 mark)

4.) The instant reply of the stolen base using rudimentary graphics(9:10-9:30 mark).

5.) Even with video game graphics, the Gibson home run gives me chills every time.

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