She told the world that the women of animation aren't just vehicles for humor or straight characters to set up punchlines for the males on the paper. She helped us realize they have thoughts, feelings, emotions and yes, even urges that make them unique, infinitely interesting and utterly fascinating. They are, as Dr. Frasier Crane so eloquently put it, "like a fine wine: always intoxicated, ever surprising and only getting better with age."
And so, for the cause of gender equality and female empowerment, here are the ten cartoon chicks who should pose naked because it would be righteously awesome.
Ahhh, the weekend. A glorious time when the prospect of burning some daylight watching sit-com stars from the 80s rap seems perfectly reasonable. Especially if it's so frickin' cold it's snowing outside. Seriously, why am I getting snowed on in April?
Anyway, one of my friends sent along a link to a post by Benner on a blog called Touch. It features videos of a bunch of old commercials that use rap to try and sell you on one thing or another. You have the classic: D.J. Fred and M.C. Barney for Fruity Pebbles, the strange: Jennifer Love Hewitt in a commercial for bread, and the cringe-worthy: Larry Bird raps for Converse. Finally, there's the awesome: a promo for ABC Wednesday featuring the casts of Perfect Strangers and Head Of The Class. That one is embedded after the jump. Follow the read link for Benner's post and the rest of the videos.
When you look at the history of television you can usually connect names to certain eras of programming. For instance, producer Aaron Spelling can be connected with many of the dramas and primetime soap operas of the 70s and 80s; Garry Marshall can be matched to many of the great ABC comedies of the 70s; Mark Goodson and Bill Toddman can be hooked up with the daytime game shows that pocked the television landscape for three decades.
When the names William Hanna and Joseph Barbera are mentioned two words come to mind: Saturday mornings. Without the creations that the Hanna-Barbera studios put out year after year Saturday mornings would have looked much different. Oh, other studios like Rankin-Bass and Filmation would have probably picked up the slack, but then we wouldn't have known about Space Ghost, Scooby-Doo, Mutley, Jabberjaw, or the Wonder Twins.
From the late 50s until the early 90's Hanna-Barbera was a major presence on television. Their shows produced countless imitations (some coming from Hanna-Barbera itself), thousands of characters, and memories that will last our lifetime.
And, it all started with a cat and a mouse.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- George Grizzard: He was a veteran actor who appeared on tons of shows since the 1950s. I remember him as Susan's ex-husband on Spenser: For Hire, and he also appeared on The Golden Girls, Playhouse 90, Thriller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Ironside, Hawaii Five-0, The Cosby Show, Murder, She Wrote, Third Rock From The Sun, and had a recurring role on Law and Order. He was also in several movies, including Wonder Boys, Advise & Consent, and Flags of Our Fathers, and was a Tony Award-winning stage actor. He died of lung cancer in New York at age 79.
I was sitting around thinking, because I really had nothing better to do, and I wondered why you don't see cartoon characters acting as pitchmen for different products much anymore. If you're nostalgic for the days when 'toons weren't afraid to put their names behind different products, you might enjoy the following videos.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Will Schaefer: He wrote background music for a number of TV shows over the years, including The Flintstones, I Dream of Jeannie, Hogan's Heroes, The Jetsons, The Tonight Show, Disneyland, The Super Friends, The Phil Silvers Show, Barnaby Jones, and The Flying Nun. He also did music for over 700 commercials (!). He died of cancer near Palm Springs, CA at age 78.
Now that I've laid all my cards on the table, on with the review...
Here's a couple bits of animation news:
I was indifferent to 12 Oz Mouse at first, but after finally watching the episodes in order and becoming immersed in its odd little world, it quickly became one of my favorite Adult Swim series. It's nice to see it back in any form.
If the surreal post-modern weirdness of 12 Oz Mouse isn't your thing, you can always check out some new Hanna Barbera cartoons that were recently added to iTunes. The new store includes episodes of Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones and Yogi Bear.
Tex Avery's Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection will be released May 15. Here's an early look:
Tex Avery made a name for himself at Warner Bros before moving on to MGM. He helped create such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck while working for Warner Bros, but what I've always loved about Droopy (whom Avery created at MGM) is that, save for rare moments of abandon, he's the polar opposite of his cartoon contemporaries over at Warner Studios. Sure, Bugs could be unflappable and insouciant, but he still had that "looney" quality. Droopy, however, never seemed to care about annoying his nemesis the way Bugs did, he just lived by a code that the good guy would always win, and his universe always stretched and squashed to make sure that's exactly how things went.
Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.
A couple of other bloggers have made lists concerning movies that have been made into TV shows and vice versa. There's The Top 10 Movies Based on TV Shows, The Top 5 Shows That are Better than the Movie, Four Small Screen to Big Screen Flops and AOL's own list. Here is my effort. Enjoy.
1. The Avengers: I tried to sit through this move twice and couldn't do it either time. If anyone can explain the plot to me, they can have my job. This movie is the exact opposite of the TV show. Boring, unoriginal, ignorant and unpleasant to watch.
2. Lost in Space: After the cameos by the surviving original cast members, stop watching. Since when is Dr. smith a psycho? I know Heather Graham is hot, but why is Don West more interested in getting laid than getting home? And what is up with the stupid CGI alien? I'd rather see a monkey with Spock ears.
You don't know the name, but you know his work. He was the voice Ernie the Elf in the Keebler commercials and guest starred on...well, just about every single TV show produced since the early 1950s, it seems.
A partial list: The Waltons, Quincy, M.E., Stingray, Flamingo Road, Little House on the Prairie, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Riptide, Falcon Crest, Knot's Landing, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Dallas, Barnaby Jones, Gunsmoke, Columbo, Bonanza, Mannix, Mission: Impossible, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, The Name of the Game, The Wild, Wild West, H.R. Pufnstuf, The Big Valley, Star Trek, Batman, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Maverick, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
He was known for his voice work, and you could hear him in such shows as The Flintstones, Jem, The Smurfs, Spider-Man, and The Transformers. He also kept me up nights as a kid when he did the voice of that damn devil doll in the Trilogy of Terror movie in the 70s.
Edmiston died on February 15 in L.A. of cancer.
The point of this edition of The Five, besides giving me yet another chance to talk about cartoons, is to examine those weird quirks that set certain cartoon characters apart from their constituents. That is to say, something beyond the usual bulging eyes, springing hair, unraveling tongues, mallet-induced head lumps and stars and birdies that twirl about the head whenever they crash through a wall. I'm interested in quirks and traits a character possesses that no other character does. Some of these are easy: Fred Flintstone's "Yabba Dabba Doo!," Bugs Bunny's various catchphrases like "What's up, doc?" and "Of course you know, this means war!," so I tried to delve a little deeper and come up with some oddities only incredible nerds like myself would notice.
Maybe this will make more sense if I just jump right into it:
Remember the days when they would take characters from a TV commercial that you would see all year long and then put them in a Christmas-oriented ad around the holiday season? This commercial for Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles will bring back memories for those of a certain age. I'm not certain when this is from, maybe the 1980s? One thing's for certain: they don't even say "Merry Christmas" in the ad. Even back then there was a war on Christmas! Bill O'Reilly was right, those bastards!
It shows Santa coming down the chimney at Fred's house (Wilma and Betty must be out shopping, not sure if this was before Pebble's was born or not), and Fred gives him some Fruity Pebbles, which of course makes Barney jealous until Santa tells them to share. Can someone tell me what the hell Barney is wearing? A dress? Did he get that from Mrs. Claus? And Dino is carolling? I thought he couldn't speak? Is he just going "ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh?"
Another thing I'm not clear on: what exactly is the timeline that The Flintstones follows? They're from B.C. but they celebrate Christmas? Video after the jump.
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