Monday, October 29, 2007

Milking Mickey

Ya know I can't resist any grocery store product bareing the image of my good pal Mickey and his buddies! Flavored milk in tiny little portions? Throw it in the cart! Keeping with their promise to only feature Mickey and Donald on foods that are good for kids, Disney brings us Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Milk in chocolate and strawberry flavors. I consider myself a flavored milk connaisseur and I gotta say these are a little sweet for my taste. The milk is pretty creamy for 2%, but the flavoring is targeted at a kids taste palate. (Go Figure!) Opening up the fridge and being greeted by Mickey and Donald does put a smile on my face, but I think I'll stick with my NesQuick Banana flavored milk. Which brings to the table this philosophical question: Who would win in a fight Mickey Mouse or the Nestle Quick Bunny?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tales From the Kids

I just wanted to share some stories about the kids today...

I told Elias the other day that next summer there was going to be a Batman movie and a Superman movie coming out. Elias asked me if they were going to be in the movie theatre or on DVD. I told him they were coming out in the theatre and he said, "Oh good! That means McDonald's or Burger King will have toys of them!"

Elias soaks things in from everywhere. A few weeks ago he was playing with Fisher Price Little People and pretending to play Halo. His only exposure to Halo is from the advertisement on the security scanner at the entrance/exit to Wal-Mart. Elias also likes to listen to my collection of old book and records. So, he's playing Halo and whenever he plays with action figures he narrates his play like it's a book. I hear him in the other room: "Suddenly Halo jumps down on the bad guys and saves the day! If you would like to hear more of this Halo story please turn the record over to side two."

Tanner is not a big fan of some of the Halloween decorations at the store that move and play music. As we were approaching the Halloween isle at Wal-Mart, Tanner sitting in the cart grabs my attention and says, "Listen to me Daddy! No pushing buttons!"

We heard a radio commercial for Trick or Treating at Hersheypark. When the commercial was over Elias announced, " I wouldn't want to go trick or treating at Hersheypark because I bet all you would get is chocolate there. That's all they have in Hersheypark is chocolate. Chocolate this, chocolate that! Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ya Gotta See It To Believe It

Last week I told you about my latest acquisition to my holiday television special collection, The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. In case you didn't believe me about the sheer greatness of this program, today WWoB gives the internet screen captures of this 1976 Halloween/Disco extravaganza!
You know it's a Halloween Special because there are jack o'lanterns in the background!

Witchiepoo, The Wicked Witch of the West, Betty White, and Paul Lynde - that's star power my friends!

Here's Lynde as The Rhinestone Trucker. This picture is also in the dictionary next to the word homosexual.

Here's a trucking/CB radio themed musical number. It has nothing to do with Halloween, but doesn't mean it ain't entertaining as all get out!

Witness Paul Lynde playing Monopoly with The Wicked Witch and Witchiepoo!

Mrs. Brady belts out a disco tune. And to think, she used to sing in the church choir with Cindy!

Seriously, you're not even allowed to wear a jacket like that on television anymore before 10:00.

Even Tim Conway can't believe what he's gotten himself into, and he was in a movie called The Billion Dollar Hobo.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You're The World's Most Popular Fruit. What Are You? Humble!

Here's a new one that I've just added to my collection: a 1976 ABC primetime variety special imaginatively called THE PAUL LYNDE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. First of all, if you don't know who Paul Lynde was he was a very popular actor in the 60's and 70's. Among many other roles he played Uncle Arthur on BEWITCHED, he was the voice of Templeton the rat in the old animated CHARLOETTE'S WEB movie, and he was the center square on the old HOLLYWOOD SQUARES. (Not the one hosted by John Davidson...ya gotta go back further than that!) If you still don't know who he was, let's just say he was gayer than all the styling mousse in France and no one ever made a mention of it! He used to do primetime specials and this particular Halloween special has become legendary for it's line up of celebrity guest stars. It was thought that copies of the entire show no long existed, but the show's original producers were recently able to find the master tapes and now the show can been seen for the first time in 31 years! It just came out on DVD a few weeks ago and it is pure television magic, my friends!

The show kicks off with a rousing musical number where Paul sings the song "KIDS" a song he sang in the Broadway hit BYE BYE BIRDIE! That song has nothing to do with Halloween, but when Donnie and Marie Osmond drop in on the fun...who could care! Right? So then, Paul and his housekeeper Margaret go for a drive in the country to visit Margaret's sister. When they arrive at her house it turns out that Margaret's sister is actually Witchiepoo from H.R. PUFNSTUF and Margaret is actually Margaret Hamilton the Wicked Witch from THE WIZARD OF OZ. Mr. Lynde is creeped out and wants to leave, but the witches offer him three wishes to get him to stay! He agrees, and his first wish is to be a truck driver with a rhinestone covered jacket! (No, seriously!) So then there's a skit with Paul Lynde as a Super-gay Truck Driver and Tim Conway and another truck driver fighting for the love of Pinky Tuscadero. (I had no idea who Pinky Tuscadero was until I looked her up on Wikipedia and found out she actually a character from HAPPY DAYS!?) Anyhow...this truck stop romance turns into a big musical number! then KISS make their their primetime television debut playing "Detroit Rock City", there's another dream sequence where Paul plays a Shiek trying to woo Florence Henderson, and then Paul gives his third wish to the witches. They wish to go to a Discoteque...sure, who wouldn't??! So they all go to a Discoteque where Florence Henderson sings a disco version of "Strangers in the Night". KISS sings two more songs, oh...and I forgot Billy Barty is the witches butler and Betty White pops up somewhere in the middle!

As you can see, it's pure entertainment gold! As someone wrote in, "it's one of the best things ever committed to videotape." With the exception of THE HANNA-BARBERA ALL-STAR COMEDY ICE REVIEW hosted by Roy Clark and Bonnie Franklin, I just might have to agree!

Here's a clip...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lame A. Tempt

We've got one video store left in town that actually rents video cassettes. All the other rental stores sold off all their VHS in the last year or two, but luckily I've still got one place to hunt down old crap on VHS. Seeing as how Halloween specials are just about completely extinct from airing on television, I wanted to dig up some of the classics to show my kids. The only thing of note that I came across was THE GREAT BEAR SCARE staring Ted. E Bear. Now, ya know things are off on a wrong foot when your main character is named Ted E. Bear. How original is that!? Oh...and get this, the monsters in the show live on Monster Mountain! See, it's a mountain...where monsters live...!?! And don't forget Ted's girlfriend Patti who is a reporter for Bearwitness News...instead of EYEwitness News, ya understand!? (I don't even get that pun!?) One more...the bears live in Bearbank...there's a city in California called Burbank, but these bears live in Bearbank. OK, that was is actually kind of funny. And this 1984 animated tale isn't half bad, while the story is kind of lame the script itself is pretty clever. But to enjoy this special you first have to get over the animation style employed here. It's not even really animation. The poses the characters move between are transitioned with very stylized fades. It kind of looks like animation, but it looks more like a cheap preschool storytime video.

And like yesterday's Grinch special we mentioned, this Halloween special is a follow up to a Ted E. Bear Christmas cartoon produced some ten years earlier....oh wait, forget that...I just thought of another one! Instead of Madison Square Garden, the monsters all meet at Madison SCARE Garden...because they are monsters and they like to scare people! Ya see how that works!?

Anywho..don't look for THE GREAT BEAR SCARE on TV anytime soon. Instead you can look forward to multiple airings of Dora's Halloween Fiesta` or some other junk like that!

Friday, October 12, 2007

How The Grinch Didn't Save Halloween

Last year I had this idea that I was going to do lots of posts here at WWoB about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials. Then it ended up that I did next to none, so here's the first entry of what will hopefully be many more. Yesterday I dug out of my archives HALLOWEEN IS GRINCH NIGHT, a terrible attempt to follow up HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS with more Grinchy holiday fun. The Grinch Christmas special was based on Dr. Seuss' classic 1957 book of the same name and first aired on television in 1966. The screenplay was written by Dr. Seuss and the film itself was directed by animation legend Chuck Jones. I have read that Dr. Seuss was very proud of this production, and did not generally like film versions of his stories except for the Grinch Christmas special. Now fast forward to the 1978 Halloween special and it appears someone had a gun to Seuss' head to write this crap-o-la. Any charm, message or holiday spirit is thrown right out the window in this production.

As you may guess, I've seen alot of animation and as a viewer there is one rule you can always count on. If a cartoon's musical sequences are abstract and involve characters running around in different colors with no backgrounds, you can pretty much guarantee you're not watching a good cartoon. Case in point, during HALLOWEEN IS GRINCH NIGHT about 48 songs are sung in the course of 22 minutes. In one song, while the Grinch tries to convince a young Whoo that he IS the real Grinch, the Grinch's eyebrows fly off of him and flutter around while various Halloween images dance across the screen. Everytime this sequence is played, the ghost of Dr. Seuss jabs a Thrunkle-fork or a 3 foot pointy edge Knock-Glock-Grabber directly into his heart! I'd like to tell you the plot of this Halloween cartoon, but I couldn't make heads or tales out of it! For some reason, the Grinch decides to pay the residents of Whoo-ville another visit, he spends that next 20 minutes making his way down his mountain (again), Max the dog takes time for a song about why he's so sad, and then the Grinch meets a little Whoo whom was blown away from a storm out of his backyard while on the way to the outhouse.'s that bad.

You'd have to go out of your way to catch this vintage TV special now. It no longer airs, luckily for me I taped it off television about 20 years ago!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh Yeah...That Contest

Answers to the movie screen capture contest:
1) Amazon Women on the Moon
2) Ernest Goes to Camp
3) Honey, I Blew Up The Kid
4) Masters of the Universe
5) A Boy Named Charlie Brown

Congrats to our winner: Brian in CA.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Garfield Holiday Celebrations

I've never been a huge fan of Garfield, but I've always enjoyed his animated outings. And of course I love Holiday Specials which makes this disc all the more attractive. GARFIELD HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS came out a few years ago, but is still a staple in any stores holiday DVD offerings. This disc collects all three of Garfield's end-of-year holiday specials and offers them on one disc for a small price.

When it comes to Halloween, GARFIELD'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE is second only to IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN. It's become pretty much required viewing each October as a double feature with Charlie Brown! GARFIELD'S THANKSGIVING is my favorite of the bunch. It's a very funny tale of Garfield calling in John's Grandmother to fix the Thanksgiving dinner. A GARFIELD CHRISTMAS rounds out the trio with a sentimental yarn about getting together with family at the holidays.

All in all, it's a nice collection of some great holiday entertainment from the 1980's.
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