Thursday, February 26, 2009

Merch: Beverly Hillbillies Dolls

These figures came out in the 90s from a company called Exclusive Premier. Trying to captilize on the wave of Mego nostalgia, EP had a real "Hit or Miss" kind of quality about them but they produced toys from a lot of classic sitcoms.

I think a lot of people bought these "limited edition" figures because I see them at just about every flea market, antique mall and toy show I visit.

As for the Clampetts, I loved the show but have no real use for these.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things you didn't know about Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke is from Kirkland Lake, Ontario Canada. Another famous person from Kirkland is actor Michael "Col Tigh" Hogan.
Thick composed the theme songs to "Diff'rent Strokes", "The Facts of Life" and "Hello Larry".
In 1980, Thicke hosted a popular Canadian mid day talk show called "The Alan Thicke show" which replaced "The Alan Hamel Show". Hamel incidently is married to fellow ABC sitcom alumni, Suzanne Somers.
Thicke was the spokesperson for Woolco Department stores in Canada, large banners and shelf talkers featured his face and the words "Thicke Price Pick". I'm not making that up and I wish I had stole one.

Why did I share this useless trivia? I don't know what else to do with it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Merch: Good Times Trading Cards

That would explain my freshly pooped pants, by the look of that face, this two bedroom apartment is going to be a tinder box tonight.

Uh-Oh, J.J. ribbing your always angry father about his social status isn't probably a good idea.

Ah yes, that's more like it. The James Evans threatening J.J. card, why would any child want this? (OK I bought tons of these as a kid)

Finally, something for my lunch pail, one of TV's angriest father figures!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Poll: Which TV bar would you rather drink at?

a) Cheers?
b) The Regal Beagle?
c) Charlie's Bar from the Jeffersons?
It seems impossible to find a picture

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shortlived: Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue was a short lived series from the Happy Days Conglomerate (although some debate exists as to whether or not it's a spin off, I honestly don't care). Most of you may remember the annoying episode where Chachi sells his soul and an angel comes to help. It's pretty much a religious variation on the Mork episode just not as headache inducing.

The series that resulted, was the Mork formula through and through, a magical being played by a stand up comic (in this case Random the angel played by comedian Jimmy Brogan) comes to live with a family of orphans living with their aunt (a pre "Designing Women" Dixie Carter) and keep his magic powers a secret. Oh, did I mention hilarity ensued?
It didn't last very long, from what I can remember it was a pretty unspectacular series.

You can see the original opening on Retro Junk, I was depressed at how much I remembered.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Animated : Mission Hill

The short lived Mission Hill has to be one of my favourite animated series ever produced, it's a shame that it never got a chance to find an audience.

Produced for the WB, Mission Hill chronicles 20 something Andy French (Wallace Langham from CSI) an aspiring cartoonist with an affinity for malt liquor who works a terrible retail job and lives in a groovy section of town with some weird room mates. Kevin is forced to grow up a little when his nerdy teenage brother Kevin moves in with him.

There is something that really clicks about this show, it's absurd cast of characters with their Dan Clowes-esque design and some of the really fun plots that developed. WB didn't let the show build any sort of following and just pulled the plug after 3 airings, yet "Sister Sister" ran forever, yeah that's fair...

As an aside, I will admit to perhaps being biased as the series hits home to my own period of arrested development in my twenties, the cartoonist leanings, the malt liquor, even the red smock at work. This show really sang to me.

After it was cancelled, I wrote to one of the show's creators Josh Weinstein and to my surprise, he wrote back, a lot! He even sent me unproduced scripts and goodies like stickers, just another bonus of a great series.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Merch: M*A*S*H Diecasts

Image swiped from me. (I won't mind)

I really like these M*A*S*H toys from Zee (who made the awesome Metal Men figures) but as I mentioned before on PS, eventhough I spent 7pm to 8pm watching M*A*S*H reruns for much of my childhood, I had little to no desire to buy toys.

I think in 1981 I bought one of those Tri Star Hawkeye figures, his goofy grin made him impossible to merge in with G.I. Joes or Star Wars figures. I was getting too old for such things anyway.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shortlived: The "New" Odd Couple

The original Odd Couple television series ran for five seasons and was still popular in syndication, so ABC planned a "New" (translation: black) version of the series to follow Benson (a favourite of mine) on Friday nights.

On paper this works, especially with the casting of Ron Glass as Felix, that's perfect. The problem was in it's laziness, many of the "New" Odd Couple's scripts were just recycled from the "Old" Odd Couple series!

The general public isn't stupid and can remember plots from a few years ago, so this new version quickly fizzled. Around the same time, the original stage play was being revamped with an all female cast. That's right, Felix and Oscar were now Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno. What an evening of entertainment that must have been.

I'd like to say to Hollywood, Why stop there? I mean surely we can milk this concept right to the ground, it's comedy gold! I mean really, the world needs a Bollywood Odd Couple, a reality series starring both Paris and Perez Hilton and I can't wait to see a Kevin James/Kevin Spacey big budget feature. Only I want Spacey as Oscar....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Merch: Barney Miller Game

Most sitcom based board games are a really lazily put together selection of graphics combined with a lame game concept from the Parker Brothers vault. I was surprised by reading this description that this game actually sounds like fun:

Object of game: Assume the identity of one of Barney Miller’s detectives-Fish Harris, Wojehowicz, Yermana-and sit facing the detective’s desk blotter on the board. The object is to be the first detective to capture all four suspects appearing on the wanted poster to the left of the desk blotter.

My opinion of this game may be biased for a couple of reasons however, one is I loved Barney Miller very much but also I cannot believe anything with both Abe Vigoda and Jack Soo on the box could ever be a bad thing.....