Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All That And A Bag Of Chips:
5 Favorite Vending Machine Selections

Hey look, another vending machine related post! I gave it some long hard thought and for no reason whatsoever I came up with a list of the five things I most like to get out of a vending machine...because everybody has their favorites!

Chuckles You can find Chuckles in stores and in vending machines but either way they are hard to come by and I always associate them with snack machines. Chuckles are pure candy delight with five distinct flavors. The black and the red are my favorites, but yellow, orange and green aren't too shabby either. The best way to eat them is to bite them in half and then try to jam your tongue into the jelly goodness of one half. To much information?

Big Texas Cinnamon Roll Texas is known for it's cinnamon rolls, right? This is a must go-to when you need to substitute something in the snack machine for an actual meal. The Big Texas Cinnamon Roll (or BTCR as it's known in circles) is probably one of the biggest items you'll even find in a machine. It's pretty hardy. Unfortunately, it has the caloric equivalent of two McDonald's value meals so I only eat them when I know I ain't gettin' dinner anytime soon.

Hard Pretzels If you're gonna do things right, you really need to get your hands on hard pretzels made by Snyder's of Hanover, and I'm not just saying that because I used to live one block over from their factory. Snyder's uses the right kind of salt on top of their pretzels plus they are baked just right. Hard pretzels give you all the chewing and chomping you need with out all the artery clogging goodness of the Big Texas.

Zero As far as candy bars go, I prefer alternative selections. Snickers and Milky Way are all fine and dandy but sometimes you need to dig a little deeper to find some new flavor sensations. If you've never had one - it might sound gross. The Zero bar is caramel, peanut and almond nougat covered in white fudge. Good eats, my friend! Good eats!

Robotically Made Sandwiches Packaged in Triangle Containers There's something about these sandwiches that just makes them so good! Perhaps it's whatever they put on it so the bread doesn't get all soggy or perhaps it's the completely artificial ingredients. I'm quite sure not one real egg makes it into one of these egg salad sandwiches, but that doesn't mean they aren't tasty as all get out! Plus, this is one vending machine selection that is an actual meal. If you dig up a few more coins for a bag of chips and a coke, you've got yourself quite a little feast going on!
Please add your favorites in the comment section...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Classic Commercial Sunday - The Many Sides of Woodsy

Even though I'm terrifyingly afraid of owls, I think Woodsy the Owl is a pretty great cartoon creation. He stared in a number of PSAs sponsored by the United States Forest Service beginning in 1970. His ads were always a pleasant part of afternoon cartoons in the 70's and 80's. Apparently everyone was too busy picking up litter to ever bother to keep track of what Woodsy's voice sounded like.

Here's an ad where he sounds like Winnie The Pooh...

Now he has the same voice as the Nestle Quick Rabbit...

and here's another random voice...

No matter what he sounds like, I love that jingle!!! (And I almost always internally sing it when I throw trash away in a park!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Party In the USA

I don't care if this song was made for 11 year old girls, I think it is one catchy fantastic little pop song!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Special Message

We just wanted to take a moment at WWoB today and wish my mother a very Happy Birthday! She's been an awesome mom to me for so many years, always encouraging my creative spirit and always supportive in whatever it is I do. She's also an outstanding Grandmother to my children, who love her dearly and are always so excited when they see her!

Happy Birthday Mom!

and Thank You for everything you do!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Peanuts From The 70's

  • I'll be looking forward to getting my hands on this new DVD set at the end of next month. Paramount continues it's parade of releases from the Charlie Brown vault with Peanuts 1970's Collection Vol. 1. There will be two new specials added to my collection: It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown and Play It Again, Charlie Brown. Th two disc set also features these previously released to DVD titles:
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown
  • There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown
  • You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Week In Movies - Look Up! (9/14)

SpaceCamp (1986) When I was a kid, every once in a while a movie would come down the pike that I really wanted to see. I mean really, really, REALLY wanted to see! For some reason, SpaceCamp was that movie in the summer of 1986. Of course, being 12 years old and having no car (yet alone drivers licence or money) I didn't make it out to see SpaceCamp. So, I did the next best thing...I read the Scholastic Books novelization of the film. It was a real page turner, let me tell you. I only had to wait 6 months to see SpaceCamp in the comfort of my living room Thanksgiving weekend 1986. Then when I finally saw it, it was just so-so! SpaceCamp is sort of infamous for having one of the worst timings for an opening in the history of movies. The film, about a group of Space Camp kids who accidentally get launched into outer space aboard the Space Shuttle, opened just a short four months after the real-life Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. People weren't really in the mood to watch a fictional account of Space Shuttle hi-jinks so soon. Now, 23 years after the film originally came out and after a second Space Shuttle disaster, it's hard to believe there was ever a time when NASA would think it's a good idea to let a bunch of kids into a Space Shuttle while they are testing the turbo booster engines (or whatever). I watched SpaceCamp on the new cable channel Disney XD and I have a feeling it was cut up a bit to fit into the two hour time slot.

I included this shot of the original one-sheet poster for SpaceCamp, the very same poster I had hanging in our playroom back in the day!

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009) I thought this was a really good movie. I would have liked to have seen it in 3-D, but my children are still afraid of watching a movie "with the glasses on!" Meatballs is very funny and as I've said before, all I ask from a comedy is to be funny throughout the whole movie. Meatballs serves up big laughs from the first course to the last - there's plenty of slapstick for the kids and good writing and visual gags for anyone else who's quick enough to pick them up. I was a bit disappointed in myself when reading the closing credits that I didn't recognize more of the celebrity voices. However, I think it's safe to say that Mr. T has a bright future in cartoon voice overs. After all, he's had plenty of practice! I'd also go out on a limb and say Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is one of the best non-Pixar computer animated films ever. (Antz and Monster House are my other two contenders.) I was very pleasantly surprised with this film!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Week In Movies - Hollywood Week (9/7)

Tropic Thunder (2008) The idea of fake soldiers getting mixed up in a real war is nothing new. Abbott and Costello did it, Larry the Cable Guy has done it, even Daffy Duck has gotten in over his head in the military. What sets Tropic Thunder apart from past similar efforts is the cast and their performances. Ben Stiller and Jack Black are pretty much doing the same thing they always do, but Robert Downey Jr. really is fantastic as an Australian actor who dies his skin black to play a role written for an African-American. I suppose that's why he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in this movie. Few actors can really loose themselves in a character like Robert Downey Jr. can...if you don't believe me, go watch The Shaggy Dog remake! But for my money, the real scene stealer here is Tom Cruise. I can't stand Tom Cruise for a number of reasons, but here he really lets his guard drop and plays a hilarious, foul-mouthed disgusting studio executive and he goes all in with this character. It's always a good time when you, as the audience, can tell an actor is having fun up there on the big screen. Tom Cruise lets loose with this character and it makes you wonder how good of a Saturday Night Live host he would make.

...And God Spoke (1993) A very low budget film about a couple of low-budget film makers who follow up their exploitation hits with a film adaptation of the Bible. It's not as blasphemous as it sounds. It's also not quite as funny as I remembered it having watched it for the first time in 15 years. Still, there's some funny parts and the movie moves along at a brisk pace. You also can't hold much against a film whose guest stars include Soupy Sales, Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) and Eve Plumb (Jan Brady).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nobody Bothers Classic Commercial Sunday

This week we're featuring another classic local commercial from the Baltimore/Washington DC area. This commercial, and several other variations on it, ran for countless years during cartoons, sitcoms and movies on many local channels...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All's Fair In Love and H-B

The York Fair (open through tomorrow) is filled with all sorts of fun things to do, good things to eat and just a bunch of other wacky stuff thrown in for good measure. As soon as we arrived at the fair I noticed a pizza vendor who was also selling soda in Jetsons' water bottles. That's kind of random, don't ya think!? They don't even make water bottles like that anymore, that's definitely and early 90's product. I joked that the Jetsons' bottles had probably been sitting around since Jetsons The Movie came out when I was in high school. Of course I bought one of these Jetsons' bottles and low and behold the copyright date under the picture of George and Astro is 1990 (the year the movie came out!) It didn't matter, I was happy as a clam walking around the fair on a cool late summer evening sipping Diet RC cola out of a 19 year old Jetsons' water bottle. Good times!

For no good reason at all, I also had to snap this picture of a giant Pebbles Flintstone doll that was a prize as some midway game. I think it was at the game where you have to toss a ball into a basket. I had to restrain myself from playing the game, not because of the Pebbles prize but because I'm pretty good at the game on Carnival Games on Wii and it's hard to remember that there's a big difference between playing a video game and doing something in real life. (Don't ask me about the time I tried to smash a giant gorilla with a mallet!)

I did other stuff at the fair too besides look for Hanna-Barbera goodies. There was a Navy recruiter who had a flight simulator ride on the back of a flatbed truck. It was just like the ones you've seen at amusement parks, a little smaller - it sat about 12-15 people. I was looking forward to riding it. I'm a big fan of flight simulators and blatant in-your-face promotions, but the ride just turned out to be about 7 very long minutes of flying around in an airplane listening to pilots mumble into their headsets. It was no Star Tours! And we didn't join the Navy.

The fair this year is also home to the World's Largest Snake, the World's Smallest Woman, the World's Largest Cow and a few other midway oddities. We didn't pay to see any of those, even though I'm a sucker for that kind of gimmick. We did, however, go inside a home that was carved out inside a giant Redwood tree. That's something you don't see everyday. We also saw a Don Knotts impersonator which would be another thing you don't see everyday.

In the Good Eats Department, I was able to cross something off my Food Bucket List - I finally got my hands on a Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Holy Crap....oh-so-good! If you're thinking that probably took a few years off my life then the delicious Fried Cheddar I also had probably shed another year or two from my lifeline!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doggy Doctor

My son Tanner isn't exactly what you'd call cooperative. So, we were a little worried when the doctor ordered some x-rays of the little guy. His uncooperative streak combined with a child's natural fear of hospital equipment was going to result in one ugly afternoon at the x-ray lab. So as we were getting ready to go have the x-rays done and Tanner asked where we were going I told him that we had to take some of his beloved puppies to the vet to have their tummies looked at. "I think one of them swallowed a bone!" I told him. He knew I was only playing, but he was happy to play along. We went and found his puppy carrier toy and we gently placed two puppies inside. Sammy and Sparkles were chosen from among the 40 other toy puppies we have as the patients.

When we arrived at the hospital Tanner was too busy worrying about his puppies to worry too much about himself. Tanner introduced his puppies to the X-ray tech, and she was more than happy to play along. She asked him lots of questions about Sammy and Sparkles and we were actually able to get Tanner's x-rays without too much trouble.

After the x-rays were taken, the tech rearranged the x-ray camera and table and put Tanner's puppies up on the table for their x-rays. We thought she was just playing along and having a little fun with Tanner and then we went in the room where they snap the pictures without getting radiation all over you and she actually took an x-ray of Tanner's two toy puppies! And she even gave him a print out... I just hope that little bit of fun doesn't cost us $200 when the bill comes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DJ Chocula In The House...or Castle

I found this pretty cool looking CD in the Halloween section at Target the other day. Spooky Sounds From Count Chocula Castle looks like it might be a bit more fun than your average Halloween sound effects CD. The cover features breakfast cereal legend Count Chocula along with his sidekicks Franken Berry and Boo Berry. There was a listening station as part of the CD display rack. The very brief snippet of the CD didn't reveal if this was going to be a quality product or not. It also doesn't reveal if there are cameo appearances from Fruit Brute or Yummy Mummy. Unfortunately at $9.99 it's a bit out of my "I'll blow seven bucks on this just to see what it is" range. No worries...I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up next year for three dollars at Ollie's Bargain Mart. Until then I'll have to make do with my "Fox Family Channel 13 Days of Halloween" CD I got off a box of Count Chocula about 9 years ago!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Busch Gardens Discount

This is an old discount card for the Busch Gardens theme parks. At the time of this card, 1976, there were three parks in the Busch empire including a 17 acre Los Angeles park which only operated from 1964 to 1979. The card also features the parks old mascot, an eagle - whose name I don't know and can't seem to find anywhere online...Thanks Internet!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Classic Commercial Sunday - Record Breaking!

Kemp Mill Records was an awesome chain of music stores in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area that starting disappearing sometime around 2000. They had a crazy good selection and their prices could not be beat. They used to also advertise heavily on television, and most of their ads featured a record player being smashed to bits...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Princess Trailer

A new trailer has been released for Disney's upcoming The Princess and the Frog, which is looking like it's going to be one of the season's most enjoyable films!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do You Have Change For a Dollar?

If I worked anywhere near a Pizza Vending Machine I would probably single-handedly empty out the entire machine within a week. It's one thing to get a Coke or a bag of chips out of a vending machine, but to be delivered fresh hot pizza - right to your kneecaps - that's something special! The other day while I was researching another post, I came across some vending machines that were either awesome or strange. I've assembled some photos here for your approval.

One of my favorite vending machines has always been the one with the different rotating shelves of food. The top shelves always have some bigger food items like burgers or a little tray of meatloaf and potatoes. Then, there's usually a small matching microwave nearby where you can heat up your vend-o meal in under a minute! That's all good eatin' right there. This pizza machine cooks and dispenses your pie in under two minutes. I'm serious, I would really like to see one of these machines in action...especially around lunch time!

I would also totally flip out if I ever cross paths with one of these hot dog machines. I'd imagine opening that little door and having the aroma of a warm, delicious hot dog grilled by a robot hitting your nose would be one of the top 5 scents of all time! I wonder if you can get chili and cheese on those dogs?

How many times have you been out and about and suddenly found yourself needing some Legos. I'd say it's safe to say that most people are in the habit of walking out the front door without a pack of Legos. I guess that's where this machine comes in!? Actually, this photo was taken in an airport overseas. I suppose it is kind of nice to be able to grab some Legos for your kids before a long flight, but really you should have thought about that before you got to the airport.
This is an iPod machine. It sells iPods. How strange is that?

...not as strange as a machine where you can grab your own lobster! I've actually seen one of these machines in a restaurant in Florida. If you can manage to pick up one of those pinchy suckers and deposit it in the hole, the restaurant will cook it up and serve it to ya at no extra charge. I'm sure this game was invented by someone who really has something against PETA.

And last but not least, I bring you - all the way from California - the marijuana vending machine! As you may know, in good ol' CA you can actually get a prescription from your doctor to legally smoke the ganja. There are places where you can go to buy your stash, but these vending machines have been popping up recently to serve the need. You have to get a prescription code from your doctor to be able to purchase the weed, your average Joe Schmoe can purchase the other tobacco products in the machine with no problem. The actual machine has an extra metal case around it. You can't see any of the products and it helps protect against theft. Either way, it's probably not a bad idea to put a Dorittos machine right next to every one of these pot machines.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My Week In Movies - Since Last We Met

This is all for the last couple of weeks...

Bedtime Stories (2008) Let's face it, Adam Sandler movies are basically kid's movies with cursing and boob jokes. So it was a pretty smart idea for Sandler to pair up with Disney and make a movie aimed at the younger crowd, the crowd that wants to go see his movies in the theatre but has to wait till they can watch it at a friend's house on DVD or cable. Stories has all the Sandler trademarks; bizarre side characters, evil characters of authority, an underdog to root for and a beautiful love interest. They even throw in a bug-eyed guinea pig to shake things up a little bit! The love interest is played here by Keri Russell...a personal favorite of mine! The movie follows Adam Sandler as he gets stuck babysitting his niece and nephew for the week. It turns out, the stories he's been telling them at bedtime all start to come true so Sandler uses this magical power to advance himself at his job and change his life around for the better. It's a cute story with some solid goofy laughs. My kids were laughing the whole way though! They don't have a clue who Adam Sandler is, but who can resist when he breaks out in his "hobilty-hoy, schmibilty-doo" voice!? Like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, (which was produced by Sandler) this comedy is clean and suitable and for the whole family.

Adventureland (2009) I suppose to a teenager who thinks smoking pot is cool and their petty little problems mean the end of the world this would be a great movie. However, Adventureland is really just a tired old summer vacation/coming of age movie with scenes lifted out of about a dozen other films. There's a couple of problems with this film. First, I had no idea what age these characters are supposed to be. They seem to have just graduated high school, they have crappy high school dead-end jobs, they live with their parents and half of them don't drive but they all just waltz into bars and drink like there's no such thing as a drinking age!? Second, the lead, Jesse Eisenburg, is simply doing an impression of Michael Cera from Superbad. The fact that this movie is directed by the same guy who made Superbad drives home this point even more. Third, you can't cast SNL comedy genius Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and then give them hardly anything to do. They are great when they are on the screen, playing the amusement park owners, but they pop up way too infrequently during the film. And finally, maybe it's just me but if you're going to set a movie in an amusement park how about a little more footage of the park. Would it be so wrong to maybe spend the first 20 minutes of the film with shots of merry-go-rounds, roller coasters and landscaping...I mean, is it just me!? Come on!

I Love You, Man (2009) All I ask from a comedy is to be funny. The storyline, the characters...all that other stuff is secondary to just making me laugh. I Love You, Man is a consistently funny film from top to bottom. Start with the cast; you've got Paul Rudd who I would classify as one of the few male talents in Hollywood whose work I always enjoy, then there's Jason Segel who's really funny and he's about to helm the new Muppet movie - so you know he's all right in my book and there's Rashida Jones from The Office and Parks and Recreation who is always fun to watch. The paper-thin plot revolves around the marriage of Rudd and Jones. When Rudd's character discovers that he has no real friends to be his best man, he goes on a quest to meet the right guy. The situation itself is a great baseboard for some really funny situations. There's a great list of supporting actors in this film too: Andy Samburg, Jane Curtin, J.K. Simmons, Jaime Preesly, Jon Favreau, and Lou Ferrigino. And for those of you who know every name in Hollywood, let me also throw out Rob Huebel, Jerry Minor, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Jay Chandrasekhar, and Thomas Lemmon. Go ahead and Imdb any of them if you don't believe me those are real people.

Road Trip Beer Pong (2009) I first found out about this movie when I saw the DVD sitting on the shelf at Wal-Mart. I wasn't even a big fan of the original Road Trip, and I certainly wasn't aware that we the people were hungry for more Road Trip but I knew that I had to see a movie as craptastic as one with a horrible title like Road Trip Beer Pong! (It honestly irks me to no end when a movie title leaves out a colon.) So I zoomed it to the top of my Netflix queue and it was in my mailbox before I could say "direct to video." For a rinky-dink, cut-rate direct to DVD movie about throwing ping pong balls into plastic red cups, this movie actually has quite a bit of heart. It's not as vulgar and tasteless as you'd expect. There's also actually some production values and a slightly imaginative yet far-fetched script. The story, as if it matters, has three college buddies on a road trip down the east coast on their way to the Collegiate Beer Pong Championships in Atlanta. As with all films of this nature, wacky things happen along the way most of them involving the boys running for their lives or girls taking off their shirts. Sometimes the situation involves girls taking off their shirts AND guys running for their lives! While it doesn't have any big huge laughs like the first Road Trip outing did, it's a surprisingly entertaining well done college slob comedy.

Masters of the Universe (1987) Oh...this is a good movie! He-Man, Telia and Man-at-Arms accidentally get zapped to Earth and end up helping Courtney Cox and her boyfriend escape the clutches of Evil-Lyn, Beast Man and Skeletor. Yes...it's as good as it sounds! You haven't lived until you've seen He-Man and company destroy a 1980's keyboard shop with laser guns. I was pleasantly surprised with this live-action movie when it came out and it still holds up today! This is 80's sci-fi at it's best and a fine selection from my personal DVD library.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Holy Crap! I Finally Saw "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

Mark the date: September 6, 2009 - the day when the last person on Earth who hadn't seen Raiders of the Lost Ark finally sat down and watched it, and that person was me!

When Raiders of the Lost Ark came out I was 7 years old and just finishing the second grade. It looked boring to me. Looking at a list of movies released in 1981 I can tell you that I was more interested in seeing Superman II, Time Bandits, Clash of the Titans, Condorman, The Fox and the Hound, and of course The Great Muppet Caper. (For the record, my Mom did take me to The Fox and the Hound, and The Great Muppet Caper.) Raiders didn't even register with me as something that I would want to see.

It wasn't even until the second film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, came out on video that I even realized that it was a sequel to the earlier Raiders. Then many years later I was in high school and the third film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, hit theatres and everyone was all gaa-gaa over it coming out and I didn't even realize until that point that Indiana Jones was a major movie franchise. I've always been more of a comedy man so I really didn't have any intention of ever seeing any of these films.

Flash forward to last summer when the fourth movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, came out. With all it's media blitz hoopla, my son who was 4 years old at the time was a die-hard Indiana Jones fan before he had seen any of the movies. I took him to see Crystal Skull at the dollar theatre and he was hooked. Elias was Indiana for Halloween last year and the video game Lego Indiana Jones has been a popular disc in our Wii since last summer.

So...last night, after 28 years I finally saw the whole movie from beginning to end. And yes, I did enjoy it. It was really good. Of course, half of it I had seen reenacted in animated Lego form before and other parts I have seen played out a dozen or so times at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show in Walt Disney World. So, several times in the movie I was like, "Hey, that part is in the show in Disney World!" Hey, Elias was just as excited as I was!

I can no longer hold on to my claim to fame that I had never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark. No longer will people's mouths drop open when I mention I'd never seen it. From now on, I'll only get that reaction when I tell someone that I've never seen Titanic...or The Godfather...or The Dark Knight...or...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Land of the Shirt Tales

First off, if you need a refresher course in Shirt Tales 101 then click on the title of this post for an archive of all Shirt Tales related posts on WWoB. Oh, it's good reading!

Now...if you're still with us, today we're proud to present this scan from a 1984 Six Flags Great Adventure brochure for their new Shirt Tales Land attraction. In 1984, things like ball pits, net climbs and giant tubes to crawl through were considered state-of-the-art entertainment that you could only find at a big fancy amusement park. Nowadays you can walk down to the corner mini-golf place and do all that stuff for five bucks! BUT...you won't get the Shirt Tales!

Shirt Tales Land featured unimaginatively named attractions like "Tyg's Gymnasium", "Rick's Ball Crawl", and "Bogey's Adventure House". It's always kind of lame when the best a park can do is attach a character's name to a ride and that's the end of the themeing. At least "Digger's Underground Climb" makes a little sense, since he's a mole...and he digs...underground!?!

The Shirt Tales seemed like such a quick blip on the pop culture radar, yet they managed to anchor the kids section of most of the Six Flags parks back in the 80's. Today, Bugs Bunny and his gang are the mascots in the kiddie area of a Six Flags park. You'd be hard pressed to find alot of the same physical activities for kids. Motorized rides have replaces these giant playgrounds at so many theme parks because of the public's changing tastes and also for insurance reasons! Kings Dominion used to have a huge Flintstones themed play area, which is now a quarter of the size and re themed to a construction site. How much does that eat me up inside!?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wacky Tacky Museum Finds

I don't think we've mentioned Geppi's Entertainment Museum here on WWoB before but we should have! It's a wonderful attraction located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor right outside of Camden Yards stadium. Inside you'll find the history of our country as traced through popular culture. There's everything from comic books, toys, dolls, books and posters all on display to take you on a tour from the very first newspaper comic strips all the way up to Spongebob and The Simpsons. I did a post about my first visit to the museum on a Disney website called The Blog Wore Tennis Shoes. Last week I took the kids there to see all the Super Hero stuff. But instead of posting pictures of old comic books and valuable antique toys, I snapped a few pictures of some wild and wacky crap that they have on display there...

Before cable TV and videos, one of the only ways kids could revisit movies over and over again was through a Storyreader Record Album. Everyone had a Star Wars or Muppets record when they were younger, but not many kids probably had this recorded dramatization of the classic 1964 science fiction epic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians! This is one of those movies that many people will put on their list of "movies that are soooo bad they're good"!?! Well, I've seen Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and I can tell you that the film is just plain bad. It is so bad that you can't stop looking at it...kind of like a car accident...but by no means is it a good film. This was actually one of the first movies I bought on VHS when I was younger. I had read about the movie in a book and some years later found it around Christmas time at the mall. Ten bucks was a lot of money for a 13 year old in 1986, but it didn't matter to me - I just had to see this movie! Perhaps it's better if you just hear about the film on a record than actually seeing it!

Here's the actual Playbill program for another legendary production, the stage version of the Superman story! It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman was a flop of a Broadway musical that opened on March 29, 1966 and closed on July 17, 1966. The whole idea is so ridiculous that, like Santa Claus and his martians, the show has taken on a life of it's own in later years. I always pushed for this to be our spring musical in high school but we always did little known shows like My Fair Lady or Camelot! Another play I've always wanted to do is called Pinocchio Don't Smoke That Cigarette, but that's a story for another time...

Besides the occasional "Weird Al" Yankovic song, novelty records don't get much respect. However, things were different in the earlier days of rock n' roll. Some silly songs became so popular that merchandise was created to cash in on the songs popularity. (A few weeks ago we featured the board game version of Hello Muddah, Hello Fuddah.) In 1958, a gentleman named Sheb Wooley went all the way to the number one spot on the Billboard charts with his ditty titled The Purple People Eater. Here's a cool little plastic hat that you can slip on and become a Purple People Eater yourself! They must have sold plenty of these because the song stayed on the charts for 6 weeks! Can you imagine a month and half of hearing that song on the radio every hour or so!?
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