Friday, December 25, 2009

A Keaton Christmas Carol

In the holiday tradition of robbing Charles Dickens, I present yet another hacktacular Christmas Carol spoof, once you see it you will agree, Tina Yothers IS the ghost of Christmas past, God she nails it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shortlived: Just Our Luck

1983 saw ABC try to hip up the "I Dream of Jeannie" concept with "Just Our Luck" instead of an astronaut, our hero is a hapless weatherman and instead of a hot blonde we get a hip back guy (which at 13 seemed like a letdown to me). Our hero buys a bottle at a flea market and accidently frees "Shabu" (played by veteran comic actor TK Carter) and nobody gets called "Master".

What made this show kind of fun was that Shabu wasn't really a servant but more of a magic smartass who liked to play practical jokes or use his magic to show our hero how lamely he lived his life.
The results of Shabu's magic or advice somehow always backfires, causing the main plots of every episode. Despite being kind of old hack plot wise, the leads on "Just Our Luck" had good chemistry and the series was better than expected but like most fantasy sitcoms, it was dismissed by the general public and given it's walking papers in December of 1983.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merch: Three's Company Puzzle

There is a small amount of Three's Company merchandise out there and none of what from I've seen ever feature Joyce Dewitt or John Ritter let alone my sweet, sweet Norman Fell. This puzzle is a rather telling glimpse into the show's underlying popularity and the reason my buddy Chris developed a childhood appreciation for Ms. Somers.

As an aside, I've bumped into Suzanne Somers in real life (literally) at a book launch party/dealy. She is A) still very attractive and B) TINY!, she's just a wee little thing, it's unreal. THis puzzle is actual size.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shortlived: Star of the Family

1982 saw ABC pair this sitcom with Joanie Loves Chachi for the fall of 1982, only JLC (sorry but that's what I'm referring to it as now) returned for 1983.

"Star of the Family" centered around "Buddy" (Brian Dennehy) a hardworking fire captain, who has to deal with his crew of weirdos (they firemen were the "Whacky Neighbours" of this series), his wife running out on him, the fact that his son is a moron (a pre ninja Michael Dudikoff) and most of all that his daughter is quickly becoming a country music star.

It's all a very familiar cocktail really and sounds like a movie that gets remade every so often. The show was somewhat average on every level and as I recall, the daughter's musical segments seemed more late 70s than early 80s, always a bad sign.

Star of the Family never got past "Local Celebrity" and was cancelled December 1982.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shortlived: The Bill Cosby Show

With the popularity of "The Cosby Show" in the mid 80s, some channels began to rerun this two season wonder from 1969 in order to feed the rampant "Cosbymania" that had gripped our nation.
But other than the titular star, the shows had little in common, this series was done on film, had no laugh track and was much more mellow in finding it's humour.
In this Cosby plays Chet, an LA area Gym teacher and it followed him through his adventures trying to help folks out or do the right thing. Chet doesn't always make the right call but he handles his foibles well and occasionally there is a lesson to be learned.
It's understandable how this ""Bill Cosby Show" didn't find a big audience with it's experimental (no laugh track simply wasn't done) approach but it's certainly a well done series. Shout Factory has it for sale on DVD which includes one of the last appearances of veteran actor Mantan Moreland playing Chet's Uncle!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Short Lived: The Paul Lynde Show

I've never seen minute one of this short lived vehicle for "Center Square" Paul Lynde and that wouldn't stop me from buying a box set tomorrow. The show itself sounds inconsequential, man has his perfect life disrupted when his daughter (and I'm assuming idiotic) son in law move back in.

I am betting there is probably a wonderful subtext to the show now, America percieved Lynde as "whacky" and having him play a family man was as strange as Village People Halloween costumes seem today.

Paul Lynde passed far too soon, I'm reminded of this everytime I see Roger on "American Dad", I can only imagine the parts he could have gotten in the 1990s.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Merch: Welcome Back Kotter Office Supplies

It's no secret that I view most "Welcome Back Kotter merchandise" as kind of like excrement, in that I don't want any of it but I think it's fun to post pictures of it on the internet.

That might have come out wrong.

Regardless, I'd love to know who thought Office Supplies bearing grotesque caricatures of John Travolta and Gabe Kaplan would be a hot selling item? Seriously, please come forward and explain, this is keeping me up at night.

Dig the detailing on his 'fro.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


One of the reasons I haven't updated in a while (besides the two broken computers) is I've been watching a pile of TV instead of sitting in front of my computer. I blame this on my new Tivo, that fact that I get to lay down instead of sit (I'm much like a cat in that regard) and there are shiny new 30 episodes of "30 Rock" on. However, I have a new favourite this season in "Community". It comes from some of the same people behind "Arrested Development" which I also adored, so no big surprise.

I've missed the pilot but the plot seems to be about a disgraced Lawyer's (The Soup's Joel McHale) journey through community college and his adventures with his misfit crew (including Chevy "fricking" Chase!) and the somewhat oddball staff.

While my Mother in Law described it as "different" (meaning she was underwhelmed) I would describe the humour in the series as "off the wall" and at times, a little dark. I haven't seen the likes of something like this since "The John Larroquette" show.

Jeez, I hope I didn't jinx it. Watch Community!