Tuesday, November 30, 2010
But the video? Admit it, it's as flat-out weird as the song is addictive.
WHY? WHY IS EVERYONE WEARING OVERALLS? WHY NO SHIRTS UNDER THE OVERALLS? (Or shirts with no sleeves...) WHY THE LINGERING CLOSEUPS ON ARMPIT HAIR? JULIEN TEMPLE, WHYYYYY?
Monday, November 29, 2010
I especially loved him in the short-lived, six-episode 1982 series "Police Squad," which set the stage for the three "Naked Gun" flicks. Not many actors can reinvent themselves from Serious Actor to agile comedian the way Nielsen did. Sure, the humor was broad and muggy, but man, Nielsen did it up right.
R.I.P., Mr. Nielsen. And no, we won't call you Shirley.
Friday, November 26, 2010
They came in a can! They stacked perfectly and didn't break! (That much...) They are so little related to potatoes that they had to be renamed "potato crisps"!
They have a number of flavors, including limited-edition ones that have included honey mustard, cheesy fries, onion blossom, mozzarella cheese stick, screamin' dill pickle, and Mexican layered dip (so sez Wikipedia -- I don't think I've tasted any of these).
Their cans are great for craft projects, and they have their own Facebook page. Really, they are a superb invention.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thank you all!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I read an article that mentioned that Antin had been in "The Goonies," so I searched for a photo of him, but didn't recognize him. Turns out he doesn't look much like he used to. Not much at all. Here he is today:
And here he is back in the '80s:
Ring a bell? He was indeed in "The Goonies," as the jerk who tormented Josh Brolin's character. He was the jerk who got the girl in "The Last American Virgin." And best of all, he was Jessie -- yes, also a jerk -- in the video for Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl."
Good times. Good times. It made me realize that as actors who played jerks go, Antin was underrated. So today, in conjunction with the release of his new movie, I hereby nominate Steve Antin as runner-up King of the '80s On-Screen Jerks, second only to the once-and-forever king, William Zabka.
Here's Antin strutting his smirky stuff in "Jessie's Girl":
Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
Uploaded by jpdc11. - Watch more music videos, in HD!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
She's so popular, in fact, that there have been numerous reproductions of her, so you can buy one for the child in your life, or the child in your heart. (Note that at least one of the repros comes with suntan lotion--back in 1971 we didn't care about saving our skin! We just slathered on the oil and laid back.)
Malibu Barbie was and is my favorite Barbie of all time. What's yours?
Monday, November 22, 2010
In a hurry? Here's the episode, cut down to 30 seconds:
Of course, nothing beats the best line in the episode, and possibly of the entire series: "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
Friday, November 19, 2010
I've got to say, I didn't remember this episode, and was pleasantly surprised to find it on YouTube (awesome page-boy haircut, Mr. C!). Here it is, divided into three parts:
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Yes, Colonel Austin fared pretty well, what with all the bionic whatnots and whoozits six million Carter-era bucks bought. His action figure was even cooler, with a huge eye for kids to look through, a button on the back that ratcheted up his arm, and his best feature: the peel-back rubber skin on his forearm that revealed removable circuits beneath.
Were you among the countless kids spending hours making the doot-doot-doot bionic sound effect and forcing the Austin doll to put his sporty red jumpsuit and tennis shoes to good use and jog in slow motion around the ottoman? (I was!) And how about his bionic entourage? There was nothing better than the Bionic Bigfoot and Maskatron figures. Even bureaucrat Oscar Goldman, with his exploding briefcase, puts Barbie's Ken to shame.
If you're looking to relive those bionic days of yesteryear, don't forget to enter our contest by Nov. 22. You could win the entire 40-DVD set of "Six Million Dollar Man" episodes!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I remember really liking the chocolate ice cream cone one even though it didn't smell like chocolate. Which were your faves, and which scents grossed you out?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
To celebrate the November 23 release of the never-before-available "The Six Million Dollar Man" on DVD, we're launching our first-ever contest.
The folks at Time Life have provided some awesome prizes, including a heckuva grand prize: "The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Collection," a 40-CD (!) set. You can read all about the collection, which has a $239.95 value, at 6MDM.com, which is also the only place you can order it.
So how do you enter? It's easy: Between now and November 22, just send us an email at email@example.com with a memory from the '70s or '80s. On November 23, we'll choose our favorites. We'll select one grand-prize winner, as well as four runners-up, each of whom will receive either a collection of Season One of "The Six Million Dollar Man," or a collection of DVD extras.
Just one entry per person, please. By entering, you're giving us the OK to use your memory on the blog and to send you (very) occasional emails about GenXtinct.com, and our book, "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?", which is set to come out in June 2011 from Penguin's Perigee imprint.
Monday, November 15, 2010
What say you? Snuffy--love him or hate him?
Friday, November 12, 2010
The biggest headstone I remember is "Sugar." All kinds of products dropped the word "Sugar" from their titles when we started to get all aware of it in the 1970s and 1980s (Sugar Frosted Flakes, anyone?). Turns out that some kids' cereals were 50% sugar. No wonder we got all jacked up and ran around the house imitating The Bugaloos while jumping on the couch pretending to fly.
Most memorable for me is Super Sugar Crisp, which was a great cereal name and also had a mascot named Sugar Bear.
Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide has more on the mascots. And Dan Goosell has a photo timeline of Sugar Bear.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
In a classic scene, they agree to participate in 1986's Hands Across America with her 20 years after the fact, and are seen standing awkwardly in her living room holding her hands while Mom beams.
Apparently 5.5 million people participated in this goofy charity event, raising $20 million (not the hoped-for $70 mill) while linking in a human chain across the United States. If the United States does not include New England, Florida, Hawaii, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee ... well, you get the picture. Celebs joined in, too, from Scott Baio to Chewbacca to Charlene Tilton to Jamie Farr to a bunch of Elvis impersonators. If that isn't a weird slice of 1980s America, I don't know what is.
It's easy to make fun of now (ABC News calls it "one of the noblest failures in the history of American popular culture") , but watching the video below makes me a little less cynical -- who can be against feeding hungry kids? (And where are those now-grown kids today?) The comments on the YouTube video kinda say it all "Man, we really were socially conscious in the '80s, weren't we? What the fuck happened?!" and "Aw. 1986, a time when humans were more sympathetic toward each other."
Growing up in the Twin Cities we were skipped by Hands Across America, but I vaguely remember the hype. Did you participate? Was it as weird as it seems, but with a good heart?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
--Mr. Mouth, Mr. Mouth! Even those who hated it remember it, and the weird jingle.
--Happy 41st birthday, "Sesame Street!"
--Look, we get why Ponch and Jon of "CHiPs" got action figures, but what kid was out there demanding that Mom or Dad buy them Sergeant Getraer?
--The homecoming dress both Kelly and Brenda wore to Homecoming on 90210 lives on at Spiegel for $20.
--Did anyone like Toughskins? Maybe Mom, who didn't have to replace them often, but not us kids.
--It's the 35th anniversary of the storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sure, I think it's a real kick to see a star in their natural habitat (like at an interview, or when they're coming out of an awards show, concert or theater performance), but it's especially fun to just run into somebody out and about -- like the time I saw Screech from "Saved by the Bell" as he was waiting in line for McDonald's at the Minneapolis airport. That's just not something you're really planning on seeing as you're running to catch your flight. My neck still hurts from the double-take.
Got a good '70s/'80s-celebrity run-in tale? Let's hear it!
Monday, November 8, 2010
It's a pretty sure bet that 1983's "Twilight Zone: The Movie" will go down in history for its horrible on-set accident that killed Vic Morrow and two child actors. But if that hadn't happened, the flick may have earned a reputation as a pretty nice homage to the black-and-white TV series. It featured four remakes of famous "Zone" plots, each by a famous director, plus an intro with Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks. (The segment starring Morrow, directed by John Landis, was apparently not actually a remake, but loosely based on a pair of "Twilight Zone" episodes.)
Steven Spielberg’s segment, "Kick the Can," starring Scatman Crothers, is a sweet but not really fulfilling episode about retirement-home residents who find their inner children. And "Gremlins" director Joe Dante's redo of the “It’s a Good Life” episode, with Anthony wishing people into the cornfield, is plenty weird and creepy. This version starred future Oscar nominee Kathleen Quinlan and “Valerie’s Family” kid Jeremy Licht, plus Bart Simpson himself, Nancy Cartwright, as his sister Ethel.
The final segment, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” -- with John Lithgow stepping into the role that William Shatner originally hammed up -- is especially creepy, and wins extra points for what happened afterwards: When Shatner later guested on Lithgow's “Third Rock from the Sun,” their characters joked about both seeing a gremlin on the wing of a plane. Totally meta -- Rod Serling would have been proud.
Here's what Siskel and Ebert had to say about the movie:
Friday, November 5, 2010
Just how awesome is this pork sandwich -- slathered with BBQ sauce, pickles and onions -- to deserve all the hype? Well, it's pretty good, but its appeal was pretty much tied to how difficult it was to find. Sure, we could visit the McRib Locator site to figure out where this sporadically available treat popped up, but now Mickey D's is putting on the menu of all its stores until mid-December.
It's the first time in 16 years it's been this universally easy to find. Are you going to take advantage of this McReintroduction and give this urban legend of a sandwich -- and its 26 grams of fat -- a taste?
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I remember him being a real Cousin Oliver/jump the shark moment, but either I'm wrong or Wikipedia is on some serious crack. They say: "Scrappy-Doo was added to the cast of Scooby-Doo to save the show's ratings, which by 1979 had begun to sink to the point of cancellation threats from ABC. After his addition to the show proved to be a ratings success, Hanna-Barbera restructured the show around Scrappy in 1980."
They do go on to say: "Scrappy-Doo has become the symbol of a character, usually overexuberant or cute in an irritating way, that critics say is gratuitously added to a series, which is known as Cousin Oliver Syndrome. Due to the general perception of the character by audiences, Scrappy-Doo has not appeared in any Scooby-related spinoffs since the made-for-television movie Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf in 1988, with two exceptions."
Apparently, the damn dog has a middle name. It's Cornelius. Oh for frickin' frackin'...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Some had two flavors per tin -- remember those? You slid the lid one way for one flavor and the other for the second.
The folks at Vintage Sister remember, and they were inspired enough to make very similar glosses. Here's their story of finding a box of old Lip Lickers from 1979 and starting a business because of it. (Unfortunately, the site says it's closed until the fall...this would seem to be the fall, so not sure what's up there.)
Did you have Lip Lickers, or were you purely a Lip Smackers fan? What flavors do you remember? (Gael's PCJM site got some great comments on this back in 2006.)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
It's being billed as a "heart-warming family classic." Hmmm. Is it really? Sure, it starts out all lollipops and gumdrops, but then it takes a sharp turn into balls-to-the-wall horror.
The basic plot sounds harmless: Eccentric inventor Dick Van Dyke fixes up an old jalopy, which turns out to be a magic flying car. What fun! Then the Child Catcher (yes, that’s his name) arrives, with his greasy, stringy hair; huge nose; Wicked-Witch-of-the-West voice and horrific singular focus (“There are children here somewhere; I can smell them.”). Why hello, thirty years of therapy. If you've seen the movie, you know exactly what I'm talking about. He easily ranks right up near the top of my list of the scariest villains ever put on film.
Whaddya think -- benign family fare or the stuff of nightmares?
Monday, November 1, 2010
The Sweathogs! Suave Boom-Boom Washington, sexy Barbarino, annoying Horshack, Epstein and his endless notes from Epstein's mother. Woodman! Hotsie Totsie! Kotter himself and his lame jokes! "Up your nose with a rubber hose." "What? Where? How?" Julie's hideous tuna casserole! (I seriously think this is why I will not eat this, or any tuna-based recipe, to this day.)
That theme song, man, it was awesome. Although watching the credits now, 1970s Brooklyn looks even more hellish than I remember. And also, old, like this could be 1870s Brooklyn, with the exception of the subway.