Saturday, July 12, 2008

Indiana Jones and the TV Guide Puzzle

OK, I got Lego Indiana Jones today, so I'm going to go play that while you guys try another TV Guide crossword puzzle. This time, it's from December 1978. I had just turned 4 the month before and was just now trying these puzzles out.

You can click on the picture for a bigger version. Good luck!

NOTE: Blogger is being uncooperative right now, so I'm using Photobucket. If you click the picture, you should get a big, complete version. When Blogger gets its act together, I'll fix this entry.

Click to embiggen.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I would buy this album in a heartbeat

I love They Might Be Giants. My son, Brody, is also quite a fan, thanks to Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s.

I had an idea for another themed record, that while targeted at an older audience, would nevertheless be filled with catchy educational songs.

Here Come the STDs!

A whole album about how to avoid getting venereal diseases. I know that sounds weird, but I know the two Johns would be able to craft a host of tunes on the subject because they have the super power to write songs about anything.

Besides, how many other chances do songwriters get to try to come up with a rhyme for "chancre"? Off the top of my head, I can think of "anchor," "wanker," "spank her" and "thank her."

This song practically writes itself.

And as they've covered old-school public service announcements ("Don't Cross the Street in the Middle"), here's one that would fit in great with the concept for this album.

It's more of a pubic service announcement, but still...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How not to talk to a woman

OK, I spent most of my evening dicking around with my wireless network settings, so there will be no magnificent insights this time around.

But I do feel obligated to share something, so here's a commercial for the now-unfortunately named Ayds diet-suppressant candy.

Yes, I've seen the commercials on a number of Web sites, pointing out how different "The Ayds Diet Plan" sounds 25 years later, but that's not really why I'm posting this commercial.

Watch it real quick.

"Gotta get a shot of this--you're eating less!"

That guy was just aiming for a Falcon Punch in the junk with that comment, wasn't he? I mean, how insensitive can you sound?

What if their places were reversed and this was a Viagra commercial? "Gotta get a shot of this--no more Limpo the Clown!" Somehow, I doubt it.

And while I'm thinking about it, why is he using a Polaroid at the beginning, but an old-school camera later?

He probably knows his comment is going to piss her off, so he doesn't want to risk the Polaroid, that's why.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Give that man a hand...

Something that always interested me when I was in school was how at the end of the year, a lot of people relaxed their personae. Like a guy who might have been a complete douche all year long suddenly start being nice to you for the last few weeks of school.

I could never figure out exactly why, whether it was because school was almost over, or so you didn't plot revenge on them all summer long, or in the case of grades after which you may never see the person again, it was so you didn't plot revenge on them for the rest of existence.

At any rate, I did find this fascinating. At the end of seventh grade, I noticed that a classmate of mine (the guy who, um, disposed of the periodical during the infamous San Francisco trip) was teaching one of the girls how to play chess. This was notable for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that he didn't know how to play.

Even in high school, every time the end of May/beginning of June rolled around, people were a little friendlier. Case in point:

During the Grad Night trip to Disneyland, what started as a giant group eventually broke up into smaller and smaller groups. While we were still at least a dozen or so strong, we decided to hit Splash Mountain. Keep in mind that as per the rules, we were all wearing semiformal wear.

I was decked out in my mad-pimp/Bob Barker black pinstripe suit I got for five bucks at Salvation Army, so I wasn't worried about the possibility of getting wet.

We were in line, chatting with our friends, when one friend of ours--let's call him Jeremy, since that was his name--started schmoozing with a few female classmates. Talking to the ladies was one thing, but he was laying it on awful thick--at least, that's how it seemed to my friend Jeff and I.

We both looked at Jeremy, and then looked at each other. Wordlessly, we agreed that letting this behavior go unchecked would just be detrimental to our friend in the long run, so we had to do something about it.

"Yeah," Jeremy said, "I draw a little bit. In fact, I was--"

He stopped in mid-sentence, because Jeff had stepped forward and held up Jeremy's hand as if it were a trophy. The girls waited for an explanation with a puzzled look on their faces.

"This," Jeff said in the most serious voice he could muster, "is the hand of a man who masturbates."

And then as if nothing had happened, he got back in line with me. The girls laughed while Jeremy sputtered, trying to think of something to say after that.

I admired Jeff for his ability to cut through the crap like that.

Unless he did it to me. That was a sock in the arm.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Now that I've written about a bad movie that starts with P, I'm stuck with trying to come up with the next movie. I thought O was bad, but there really are not a lot of movies that start with Q.

I have a few prospects, but I figured I'd solicit some suggestions. If you know of a good bad movie that starts with Q, let me know in the comments.

If I don't use your suggestion, don't be offended.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bad Movies From A to Z: You blew it

I was on the horns of a dilemma as to which movie to feature for the P installment of Bad Movies From A to Z. The easy choice would've been Plan 9 From Outer Space. My second choice was Pieces, but my brain exploded when I tried to write down the plot.

So instead, I thought I'd go for a movie that I bet not many people have in their libraries. Kermit Schafer's feature-length documentary based on his book and record series, Pardon My Blooper.

The movie in a nutshell: Various TV and radio bloopers are replayed and in many cases, re-enacted. Poorly.

The story: Okay, this really doesn't have much of a story. Schafer, essentially the father of the blooper as we know it, had been amusing millions with his books and records that relayed the bits from radio and TV shows that otherwise would have hit the cutting room floor.

It seems an odd choice for a full-length movie now. There are a few yoks here and there, but your attention really flags near the end. This R-rated feature was released to theaters (!) in May 1974, and to be fair, we hadn't yet suffered the barrage of blooper shows of the early 80s when you not only had TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Dick Clark and Ed McMahon (practically the direct descendant of this movie) but Foul-Ups, Bleeps and Blunders with Steve Lawrence and Don Rickles, as well as the occasional Life's Most Embarrassing Moments special with Steve Allen.

Back in the day, this was the one of the first video exposures many had to bloopers (the blooper reels shown at early Star Trek conventions also come to mind). But a few years after this movie was released, you could see movie bloopers during the end credits of many a Burt Reynolds movie.

Now while Schafer had much to do with the proliferation of hearing and seeing outtakes, he also re-enacted many gaffes based on reports from broadcasters. And in a bit of overreaching to share a funny story, he also re-created bloopers that were actually urban legends.

Probably the most infamous fake recording was the "Uncle Don blooper." You can read about it in more detail at

The Uncle Don clip is played during the opening credits, and it is one of two different versions I've got on the old blooper records. Matters of truth aside, were closing songs to kids' shows really that bad?

"Good night, little kids, good niiiiiiight. We're off? Good. Well, that oughtta hold the little bastards."

After that gem, we find that what we're watching is clips from the records dubbed over stock footage, people recreating (badly in many cases) bloopers over stock footage and on special occasions, dreadfully re-enacted clips in which people don't even try very hard to lip-sync to the audio.

I'd love to post a clip to show just how bad some of the clips are re-enacted, but I don't have the resources. Go on Amazon or eBay and pick up a copy of the tape for a few bucks. Trust me.

And let's talk about that title song. "The Blooper Song (You Blew It)" is sung by Danny Street, who should not be confused with Danny the Street from Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol.

I think.

It's a Sinatra-esque number that consists primarily of repeating "You blew blew it, you blew it, you blew it." There are a few other words, but not as many as you'd hope to break up the monotony.

I should warn you now. The damn thing will be stuck in your head forever.

The key novelty of this movie is hearing dirty words and seeing a boob or two. These days, it's all pretty tame, but if you, like me, are permanently 12 years old (no offense to real 12-year-olds, who are undoubtedly more mature), you may find yourself giggling when you hear the phrase "pubic service announcement."

For shame. Honestly...

Here are some other gems from the movie:

From a commercial for a butcher: "Remember ladies, nobody can beat Charlie MacFarlane's meat...oh, no..."

That's what she said.
"Stay tuned now for a dramatization of Dickens' immortal classic, A Sale of Two, A Tale of Two Cities."

"...the Canadian Broadcorping Castration."

It's actually kind of neat to see vintage stock footage from the 60s and 70s.

My biggest pet peeve is the poor audio re-enacting. You've got a few lines to say. How hard is it not to stumble over or otherwise kill the joke?

"With the 7 on the side--and--uh, U-P after, huh-huh-huh..."

Having watched this movie so many times growing up, my brother and I quote from it constantly, and I have yet to meet anyone who picks up on the references. Hell, we may be the only ones.
"Where'd the son-of-a-bitchin' dog come from?"

"Who goosed the soprano?"

"...the largest producer of magnoosium, aleeminum and stool."

"Clear up to my ass--ankles!"

The big event (and probably the reason for this movie's R rating) comes when they relate the story of how a TV station accidentally broadcast a stag movie late one night. I have no idea if the clips they show were from the actual incident (why would they start now, right?), but you can see a brief bit of nudity, over which we hear what supposedly are early-morning calls to the station.

Uh, yeah.

And then it's back to tame slips of the tongue. Well, aside from a mispronunciation of Kentucky Fried Chicken (you figure it out), anyway.

The other big segment is about Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, which they inexplicably refer to as a blooper.

Again, the big build-up, and then more regular clips.

There's a re-enacted clip from "The Newlywed Game," but it's not the infamous clip you may have heard of.

At the end, a little bit of the "You Blew It" song plays, and then fade to black.


I managed to snag this movie at Kmart for $9.99. We swung by Subway on the way home and got a pastrami sandwich with black olives, a sandwich I think of every time I watch this.

Now I'm hungry.


I would be willing to bet that I've seen this movie more times than anyone else on the planet, which is sad for a number of reasons, the least of which is--it's really not that damned funny.

I think if I had seen it for the first time now, I'd probably have ejected and burned it about 15 minutes in. But since I was a teenager when I got it, this flick has a bit of nostalgic appeal. Still, even when I was 15, I remember feeling screwed when I found that there were no "real" bloopers in it.

However, there is still some kind of appeal to Schafer's collections of bloopers. The books are actually the most giggle-worthy, as they have all kinds of swears in them, many of which I presume didn't make the cut on the records.

I have a few of the record collections (billed as "A Treasury of Radio and TV's Most Hilarious Boners"), and interestingly enough, on two separate volumes, the Uncle Don blooper is featured.

But here's the funny part: the "authentic" clips are completely different recordings. If you're going to BS the masses, at least keep it straight. I mean, seriously...

If you want a sample of what I'm talking about, a cursory Google search will yield a bounty of fun. Just to get you started, there's a best-of compilation at

I'm actually surprised this hasn't gotten the dollar-store DVD treatment yet; if and when it does, my stupid ass will buy it, I'm sure.

How can you pass up a movie with lines like "...Mayor Friedman has just ordered all families near or adjacent to the Mill River to ejaculate immediately."?