1. “This Is Jim Rockford . . .”


    “…At the tone, leave your name & message. I’ll get back to you.”


    :: beeeep ::

    “Hey, Rockford — it’s Moss Williams. You remember me. From the joint. Yeah, well I’m out now and it’s payback time. When I find you, I’m takin’ you out!”


    *  *  *  *  *  *



    “So after this, Rockford, maybe you an’ me, maybe we get some cotton candy & hit the merry-go-round. Whaddaya say?”

    Posted by on December 2, 2016, 1:55 AM.

  2. The Day The Oompa-Loompa Cried — or! — Willy Wonka and the Concentration Camp!

    Here’s hearty, well-fed Augustus Gloop, outside the gates of the Wonka Candy Factory, waiting to get in:


    Here’s a bunch of poor, hungry Jewish kids inside the gates of Auschwitz, never to get out:


    The top image is of course from the beloved, non-Tim Burton film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971).

    And the bottom image is from the infamous Jerry Lewis train wreck, “The Day the Clown Cried” (1972).

    Now, that kid in the tan trenchcoat just to the right of the center probably isn’t Michael Bollner, who played young Gloop in Wonka, but the important thing is he kind of looks like him, I guess he could be him, but even if that’s not the case I’ve just started some sort of ridiculous urban legend with no basis in fact. Let that be my legacy.

    If nothing else, it makes you think. Maybe that pipe Augustus got sucked up didn’t go to the fudge room after all.

    Posted by on June 20, 2016, 3:07 AM.

  3. Amazing Star Wars Store Display!


    Oh, and before you try to figure just which Fallas Paredes discount clothing store it was taken at, you should know it’s already spoken for. I’ve talked to the store manager and let’s just say I’ve made it worth his while to not ship it back, as required, to Lucasfilm/Disney, and to tell them it was accidentally “thrown out.”

    In just a month or so, that yellow piece of paper is mine.

    Posted by on December 18, 2015, 1:13 PM.

  4. This Is Not The Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer You Are Looking For


    But if my Jedi Mind Trick didn’t work on you, and it is the non-dairy coffee creamer you’re looking for, and you’re a collector, here’s a tip: There’s mint-in-package and there’s rancid French Vanilla in package, the latter of which is what you’ll get if you don’t empty it out before you give it an honored space next to your vinyl-cape Jawa and your Topps C3P0 penis card. And brother, if you don’t pour it out, eventually that plastic bottle’s going to swell and swell and swell…and then following a sudden explosion of Death Star proportions, you’re going to be spending the next few months cleaning chunkified high oleic soybean oil off of every piece of Star Wars memorabilia you’ve spent the last 38 years collecting.  Or I guess the short version of all that is: “Oh geez, look, R2D2 Coffee Mate.”

    While we’re discussing Star Wars, there’s this, too, which I also saw at Walmart today:


    As with all inflatable Christmas lawn decorations, it’s hideous and you wouldn’t want it on your lawn or your neighbors’ lawn or anywhere that you’d have to see it, and you’d be forgiven if you ran merrily around your neighborhood with a steak knife and permanently disabled any you could find. (You’d be forgiven by me, anyway. I don’t have much sway with your neighbors, the homeowners association, or the local police.)  The point is, as awful is it is, it still makes some sense in an absurd and not particularly funny way, and I get it.

    This one I don’t get:


    It’s just a Star Wars character. On your lawn. And, uh, it happens to be Christmastime.

    As horrible and ridiculous as the other one is, at least they tied it into Christmas by having Darth Vader take a break from choking disbelievers to death and building a snowman and tossing wrapped presents around it.

    Couldn’t they give this guy a corncob pipe or something? A button nose? Two eyes made out of carbonite, maybe?

    Posted by on December 11, 2015, 12:10 AM.

  5. Let’s Mine An Innocent Coloring Book From 1973 For Modern Lowbrow Humor!


    Perhaps most troubling is how amenable the principal is to Woodsy’s idea.

    Posted by on November 2, 2015, 1:36 PM.

  6. Apparently Bollywood Is Officially Out Of Original Ideas!

    …because judging by this poster, it seems they’ve now remade “It’s Pat.”



    What took them so long?!

    Posted by on October 19, 2015, 3:57 AM.

  7. Blatant Product Placement In 1960s ‘Popeye’ Cartoons!

    AH, the magnificent Popeye cartoons of the early 1960s!


    As all of you know, by the late 1950s, the Popeye theatrical shorts released by Fleischer / Paramount / Famous Studios for the past near-quarter century had been packaged for TV and become a hit with kiddies nationwide.

    “More!  Give us more!” broadcasters screamed, and King Features Syndicate, owner of the popular sailor, acquiesced.

    “You thought them old ones was something? Phphpht! You ain’t seen nothing yet!” read a press release at the time, probably, and with that, 220 additional Popeye cartoons were commissioned and artistically rendered between 1960 and 1962 — each and every one of them a bonafide masterpiece.


    Loved by not only Popeye fans everywhere but serious animation aficionados and scholars of all kinds, these 5 minute, 40 second masterpieces have since been lauded by cartoon historians and experts such as Beck, Evanier, Maltin and Amidi* as among the best cartoons ever produced and are, to this day, universally recognized as examples of the animation art form at its highest. All 220 of them have a permanent place in the Library of Congress. (I would assume.)

    *Mark Beck, Leonard Evanier, Jerry Maltin and Mark Amidi. Who did you think I was talking about?


    Yet, despite all the high praise for what was termed at the time (and ever since) as the cartoons that ushered in “the true Golden Era of Animation,” there was — alas! — a less savory side to them.

    Producing over 200 cartoons each with lush animation that rivaled the ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ sequence in Disney’s Fantasia did not come cheap. In order to finance the project, the cost of production had to be subsidized somehow. And that’s when King Features Syndicate quietly lined up potential sponsors to help foot the bill.

    Now it can be told: The Popeye cartoons of the early 1960s were rife with product placement.

    From “Bazillion Whacks” (1960).



    From “Groin With The Wind” (1960).



    From “Go Flock Yourself” (1962).



    From “Beatnik Off” (1961).  [No longer shown on TV today because the word “Mexican” is racist.]



    From “Special Edjamakation” (1961).



    From “Proctological Liar” (1962).



    From “Deep Trout” (1961).



    From “Irritable Growl Syndrome” (1960).



    From “Urine the Money” (1961).



    From “Roofy Goofy” (1960).



    From “Danger — Perves Ahead” (1961).



    From “Projectile Dysfunction” (1961).



    From “Popeye’s Glasgow Smile” (1960).



    From “Yeast Inflection” (1962).



    From “A Portion Is Murder” (1961).

    Oh, think that’s bad? That’s nothin’!


    Turns out this stuff is all over the place!


    Like, in practically every cartoon! Man, the things you don’t notice when you’re a stupid kid!

    I guess the other thing none of us ever realized before is how suggestive some of the titles of the cartoons were. And that many of the double-entendres made no sense 55 years ago.

    Okay, let’s end this before my attorney needs some spinach himself — haw!


    Posted by on July 6, 2015, 2:38 PM.

  8. Always Be One Of A Kind (Except When It Comes To Your Commercial Ideas)

    BETTER blogs, or blog, singular, than mine have chronicled instances of Life Imitating The Simpsons but here’s an example of Advertising Imitating The Simpsons.

    Imitating…Or ripping off?

    “The Summer of 4 Ft. 2” was the show’s seventh-season finale back in May of 1996, and in it the Simpsons head to the beach for a vacation.

    C’mon, you remember the episode.

    As you probably recall, there’s a scene where Lisa shows her new friends how hermit crabs will abandon old shells they’ve outgrown for others that are a better fit.

    This theme is revisited in the very last scene of the episode as Homer throws a Buzz cola can out the car window that lands in the sand. There, a crab decides to make that its new home before it then scuttles off into the sunset.


    And today, nineteen years later, we’ve got this Dr. Pepper commercial…

    …which is startlingly similar, although where it’s sort of absurdly funny watching a cartoon crab wander away to the strains of “All Summer Long” by the Beach Boys, it’s kind of creepy watching the commercial’s realistically rendered crustacean hit on a real live woman while “Hot in Herre” by Nelly plays.

    Even more disturbing is that last shot, where the girl’s two friends have evidently left and given her and her potential beach hook-up some alone time.


    Thank God the commercial ended when it did.

    Posted by on May 31, 2015, 8:00 PM.

  9. “Propman! Did Anyone Proofread The Business Card?”

    NOW that’s it’s finished its original run and everyone else who was going to watch it has seen the entire series, I’ve started enjoying this-this-this “Sons of Anarchy” of yours.

    Anyway, as you — and now I — know, Katey Sagal plays the matriarch of the bunch, the “old lady” to the leader of the motorcycle club.

    Jemma is her name, or at least that’s what I thought it was.

    Then I saw the episode from which this screen cap was…eh, screen-capped, where she writes her name and phone number on the back of a business card and gives it to a pimp with a heart of gold played by Jimmy Smits. (Usually it’s the hookers who have the hearts of gold, but here it’s the pimp.)


    So now I see that “Jemma” actually starts with a G.  …And apparently it’s somehow spelled with two N’s rather than two M’s, despite the pronunciation. Either that or someone in the prop department’s got lousy handwriting.

    When I brought this to the table, er, to the attention of a fellow “Sons”-watching pal, she excused it away thusly:

    “…While I agree…I think she is ghetto and didn’t learn proper cursive, so look again and you will see that what is normally the upward start to an ‘n’ is actually the first part of her ‘m’. Stupid [expletive deleted] that she is.”

    I don’t think that’s the case at all (though we all can agree the last part of her explanation is a delight). No, I think it’s a matter of simple economics. While the production values on “SoA” seem fine to you and me, perhaps they still had to cut corners here and there; and a high-paid on-set union prop-business-card proofreader might have been deemed an unnecessary expense.


    Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

    Posted by on May 8, 2015, 12:16 PM.

  10. You See It Too, Right…?

    AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, I have a tendency to see similarities between celebrities that no one else does. Maybe I just have a keener eye for these things; maybe it’s chronic macular degeneration and early-onset glaucoma coupled with the cucumbers I had for dinner. Who can really say?

    For instance, I think we all remember the time when I was convinced that Bob Odenkirk was a dead-ringer for the guy who played the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz.” That is, we’d all remember that time if I bothered to post my findings here. But no, I chose not to, shamed as I was after I mentioned it to a few friends who decided I was “smoking crack.”

    (I no longer think Odenkirk looks like Ray Bolger, but I was watching the third episode of “Better Call Saul” a few weeks ago and there’s a scene when he’s in his car and he looks exactly like Kevin Costner for a few moments. And for the record, thanks to random testing, I’m still clean.)

    Anyway: My latest issue of Entertainment Weekly came in the mail the other day, and this is the cover, featuring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard from the hit new Fox show “Empire”:


    Now, I’m not too familiar with Taraji’s body of work, but something about her and that vamp-like pose seemed very familiar…

    Then it struck me:


    She looks just like Lily Munster!

    You see it, don’t you?

    I mean, just give her a widow’s peak and a skunk stripe and she’s Lily!

    Now maybe that’s not the perfect “Munsters” still to make my case, but if you think I’m going through seventy episodes to get a screen grab of Lily in a pose identical to the EW cover, you’ve got another think coming, bub.

    And take heart, Taraji, if you’re reading this: Looking like the Munster matriarch is not a bad thing at all; Lily was indeed quite attractive. (However, Terrence Howard bears little resemblance to Herman, eh, thankfully for him.)

    “So now,” you, what, six readers ask, “what exactly do we do with this information?”

    Good question. Here’s my thought: I think this is where we all get on board and do one of those internet petitions where we try to get her to play Lily Munster in something. Why not? Seems like a worthy cause.

    …Really, just — just  anything to rid the foul taste still in our collective mouths from that god-awful “Mockingbird Lane” pilot from 2012, right?

    Posted by on March 2, 2015, 3:56 AM.

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