Let's face it, we get old. Some of us live a long and glorious life, dying happily in our sleep next to the 26-year-old Penthouse Pet of the Month who is just with our wrinkled old selves because we have money. Others live to the ripe old age of 30 and have a wonderful Lastday ceremony. It really doesn't matter...we get old one way or another.
Most of us try not to admit we are getting old. We use dyes, we have surgeries to move things around, and we pump ourselves with poison so our faces to retain that wonder wax museum sheen. Yet, there are those occasions where you hear about something that triggers that little part of your brain that makes you want to whip out the Bran Flakes and prunes. Here are just a few television-related events that may just have you looking for retirement communities in Florida.
When I was in junior high, I picked up a copy of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. I had never heard of Adams, and I didn't know that The Restaurant at the End of the Universe was actually the second book in a series (the first, of course, being The Hitchhikker's Guide to the Galaxy).
As I tended to do a lot back then, I read part of the book and then never finished it. It wouldn't be until several years later (and by that I mean "after I graduated college") that I would finally sit down and read the entire series.
Every Sunday throughout June and August, Tom Kenny (Mr. Show, SpongeBob SquarePants) will be hosting Funday Night at the Movies, a showcase of classic family films on Turner Classic Movies that both children and adults can enjoy. The weekly summer movie showcase will air at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday nights and feature the following films:
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
- Bringing Up Baby (1938)
- Little Women (1949)
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
- Oliver! (1968)
- Pride of the Yankees (1942)
- Shane (1953)
- Singin' in the Rain (1952)
- Sounder (1972)
- The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Treasure Island (1934)
- 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954)
Little House on the Prairie confounded my young mind on many levels: first of all, I thought the series was an adaptation of the Michael Landon vehicle I Was a Teenage Werewolf, which led me to the erroneous conclusion that all werewolves are farmers. This is not true: most werewolves, like zombies, work in the service industry.
Also, because the show took place in the latter half of the 19th century, I assumed that's when it was filmed, too. It never occurred to me --keep in mind the show began two years before I was born-- that it was a modern show set in the past. I assumed it was a really old show and that anyone involved with it was probably long dead.
Excuse me while I drool all over my keyboard.
If you love old cartoons and campy TV shows, you need to check out World's Best Comics and Toys. It's jam-packed with DVDs of all kinds of awesome old-timey animated goodness: there are old black and white Terrytoons, a complete DVD set of Friz Freling's The Ant and the Aardvark, and every episode of the original Batman series. Obviously, some of these are not official releases, but I don't know of any other place where you can find all these shows together.
Some other cool shows I found on the site:
- Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp
- Atom Ant
- The Banana Splits
- Beany and Cecil
- Clutch Cargo
- Crusader Rabbit
- Deputy Dawg
- George of the Jungle
- Heckle and Jeckle
- Hoppity Hopper
- Mighty Mouse (original and The New Adventures)
That just begins to scratch the surface. Poke around the site and you're sure to find something you like. Of course, I have no idea of the quality of some of these DVDs, so caveat emptor and all that.
[via John K]
I figured since I honored Elvis yesterday I might as well also pay homage to Groucho Marx. You may wonder what these two people have in common, and the answer is: absolutely nothing. However, they both died within three days of one another, and news of Elvis' death overshadowed Groucho's in many respects. Also, I just happen to be a big Marx Brothers fan. Their movies are still as funny today as when they were first released, proving that the best comedy never goes out of style.Since this isn't a movie blog, it wouldn't make sense for me to stick a bunch of clips below from their many films, but I can show you a clip from Groucho's comedy game show You Bet Your Life. The game show began on the radio in the late '40s before moving to NBC TV in 1950. It ran until 1961, changing it's name to The Groucho Show near the very end. Two attempts were made to revive the game show: once in the '80s with Buddy Hackett as the host, and again in the '90s with Bill Cosby.
I just got off the phone with Dino Stamatopoulos, creator of Moral Orel (look for the interview soon), and since I just finished talking with someone for over an hour about animation and comedy I thought I would indulge myself with a kind of "fantasy post" I've been wanting to do for a long time.
Below you will find a schedule that shows how I would program Adult Swim if it were its own twenty-four hour network. I guess the time zone would be CST, since I live in Minnesota, but don't worry about that, it's just for fun.
Cartoon expert extraordinarie Amid Amidi mentioned a short film in his book Cartoon Modern called "A Date with Dizzy," a funny stab at the TV ad biz that featured animation from John and Faith Hubley. I had plans to try and find it online, but soon forgot about it until today when I saw Amid had posted it on Cartoon Brew. You can watch the ten-minute short after the jump, which features a TV ad fella trying to get Dizzy Gillespie and his quintet to perform a song for a commercial for "Instant Rope Ladder." It's rather amusing.
John Hubley himself worked at Disney painting layouts and backgrounds for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Dumbo before moving on to UPA where he developed the character of Mr. Magoo. He later founded his own studio with his wife, Faith, called Storyboard. The animation featured in this short were all created when Storyboard was based in Los Angeles (he later moved the studio to New York). The commissioned projects he did through Storyboard were done anonymously, as Hubley was blacklisted by the HUAC at this time for alleged Communist leanings.
Well, not really, but C. Martin Croker, who provided the voice of both Zorak and Moltar on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast has a blog, and it's quite interesting if you're interested in older comics, animation, and toys. Right now Croker has posted an interview from the early '90s conducted by John K. with Flintstones designer Ed Benedict, and check out this page from an old Dennis the Menace comic where Mr. Wilson explains to the boys what a hookah is. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure in the next issue Dennis' father shows the neighborhood kids how to turn an apple into a bong. Packed with important lessons those old comic books were.
[via Cartoon Brew]
Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi is one of those people I would love to sit in a room with and listen to his rants. Since I'm still working on my John K. Kidnapping Machine, I have to settle for his blog (Warning: NSFW), which he's been using to provide sage advice to people interested in becoming animators and cartoonists, and to slam the conventions of modern day animation, most notably on shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. On this post, he talks about how characters in old cartoons evolved at a much faster rate than characters on any of the aforementioned shows. As ideas grew and changed, so did characters. He writes: "You have to be raised in an uncreative environment in order to blindly accept how bland and crappy everything is today." Later in the post he adds: "No one should accept professional work that looks like they could do it themselves."
In the comments section of the same post, he further asserts that "the very concept of animated sitcoms is faulty in the first place." His argument is that no character in an animated sitcom has ever been able to emulate the best actors in the best sitcoms. And as pure animation, they don't exactly hold up, either.
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