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!
Saw this awesome designer mouse pad at the 99¢ Only store the other day for — yes! — 99¢ only.
Oh, don’t let the hang tag [industry term] fool you! It says “Mouse Pads,” plural, but there’s only one to a package! No matter — I don’t need to tell you that even sold singly, this thing is a delight!
Like you, it’s making me nostalgic for 2014, when the calendar might have been useful, and even more nostalgic for some years before that, when we still used mouse pads!
EVERY night, just after midnight — at precisely 12:01 a.m. — I log into ol’ Google Analytics and check the ol’ traffic to the ol’ blog.
You know, to see what’s trending [industry term] here on Ted Parsnips Dot Com among you, what, six readers; find out what’s hot (Wendy’s Ghost Pepper Fries Review — more hits than anything else, currently), and what’s not (some ridiculous piece I vomited out comparing one of the girls on “Girls” to Edith, dere, on “All In the Family,” that seemed like a good idea at the time — absolute bottom of the list.
I know what you’re thinking: “Jesus-God, there’s a hundred other total crap things this jackass has put up here that’s even worse than that; this is what people are avoiding?!” Hey, I’m as stunned as you are.)
Wow, that was quite a long parenthetical aside, wasn’t it? There was even a paragraph break and it continued!
Now, like everyone else who accesses Google Analytics to track traffic to their websites, I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m doing. I log into my account, I click a bunch of interesting-looking links, but I have very little concept on how to interpret 95% of the resulting data.
These things I do know: ‘Site Content’ is a no brainer. It generally tells me which posts people are looking at. That much I can decipher.
And “Location” (under “Geo”) is usually kind of fun. It brings up a map of the world, showing where people are looking at my site from.
When I click on a specific nation, it shows me a closeup of that country and can even show me which specific cities and towns my site’s visitors are from. It’s all quite fascinating or scary, depending on how much you think about that, and whether you’re the blogger or the bloggee.
Anyway, as a patriotic American, I care little for the rest of the world, and am only concerned with my country, and, to be more specific, how many people are visiting it, and from where. That hit from Mt. Kisco, New York: Is it my beloved aunt who lives there, making sure I’m not spilling any family secrets online, or is it related to the occasional references I make to personal hero Bennett Cerf, who spent the last part of his life amidst its verdant rolling hills?
Wasilla, Alaska has popped up more than once, begging the question “Could it be Sarah Palin, too, is as much of a fan of anachronistic package design as I am?”
And who would have guessed there’s a place in Tennessee called “Goodlettsville” and someone there decided to visit my blog for some unholy reason?
So here’s what I see tonight:
Notice anything unusual?
Well, let me clue you in by telling you there’s a hole in my heart that’s as big as the state of Wyoming right now. Someone from every other state — even Hawaii and Alaska, our two new states — took time out of his or her busy schedule to visit this website over the past 30 days, but no one — not a single person! — from Wyoming could be bothered! And they’ve got 563,626 persons, plural, in that state. You know how I know? I went on their website! But I guess reciprocity isn’t big in Wyoming, huh? I guess you’re not the Reciprocity State, are you, Wyoming?
Nope. According to their website, Wyoming is the so-called “Equality State.”
Well, I’ll tell you one thing, brother — it didn’t get its nickname from showing…equality among…uh… from showing equality to websites…eh…like mine by, um… by visiting them!
But I’m not going to be petty. Maybe — just perhaps! — it’s…me.
Maybe it’s the stuff I post here, despite the fact that every single letter, each and every punctuation mark — including dashes and seemingly liberal use of italicization — are agonized over!
Perhaps content such as “National Thrift Store Throw These The Hell Out Day” and fried bologna sandwich recipes and whatever the hell this was supposed to be just doesn’t resonate with our Wyoming neighbors. Who knows?
But I’ll tell you one thing: I aim to fix it!
So, bearing all that in mind, be sure to come back tomorrow for the debut of a brand new feature!
* * * * *
Update! — Mere Hours Later!
The good people at Visit Wyoming (@wyomingtourism on the Twitter) saw my needy, high-maintenance tweet and were kind enough to respond!
— Visit Wyoming (@wyomingtourism) June 19, 2015
Look at that! All I had to do is ask! That’s the kind of folks they got in Wyoming — good folks!
You bet I’ll come and see Wyoming sometime! —Come back and see ‘er again, that is!
For as regular readers of this blog know, I was there about ten years ago and enjoyed such sights as Devil’s Tower, an A&W restaurant in the middle of nowhere along a highway where they still serve root beer in frosty mugs, and a Walmart where I was evidently so caught up in everything Wyom-ish that I decided it was a good idea to buy a cowboy hat and wear it for a few days. Thank God this was in the days before cell-phonular photography.
We know we belong to the land,
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we saaay
We’re only sayin’
You’re doin’ fine, Wyoming!
AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, I was wandering down the cereal aisle at Ralph’s the other day and what do I see — what do I see! — but this:
And while we all agree the idea behind “Mini Trix” is a good one, we’ll also concede, all of us, that the product development team responsible for this delightful new take on an old classic simply didn’t take it far enough.
It got me thinking.
I spent the weekend in the “lab.” (Ha! Really, the workbench in the garage!) And after a lot of misfires, snafus, setbacks, and beers, I finally emerged late Sunday night with a prototype.
Oh, sure, it may not look like much to the naked eye, but brother, let me tell you, what you see above is the result of a double-sided chalkboard crowded with infinitely difficult math equations describing chemical processes you can’t even begin to fathom, dozens of beakers and squiggly tubes and Bunsen burners going at full tilt, some wacky, repetitive sound effect they always use in cartoons for overcomplicated machines, and, okay, a fair bit of pulverizing cereal pieces with a hammer.
Ladies and gentlemen, forget “Mini Trix.”
…I give you Micro Trix.
General Mills, I await your call.
Have that checkbook ready.
Now you, too, can smell like Lou Ferrigno.
Or, I suppose, Edward Norton, Eric Bana, or Mark Ruffalo.
And for just a buck! Heck, you can’t even buy a decent pair of purple shorts for a buck these days. Though I suppose you never could.
Anyway, Hulk for Men Eau de Toilette Spray is…
…for today, June 10, 2015. Like I’m doing these on a daily basis now.
Since when is the well-timed squeeze of a whoopee cushion when the entire stupid yoga class is doing the stupid Downward Dog considered “disrespecting others”?!
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.
Do a search on Murderpedia, the online encyclopedia of murderers (the name of which immediately brings to mind two things: 1. How rich we are, living in the 21st century, where such information is available at our very fingertips, and 2., technically, shouldn’t it be called “murdererpedia”?)…ahem, as I was saying, do a search on Murderpedia, and you’ll find there are 5,020 matches, by name, for “Michael.”
Interesting, you shrug disinterestedly, but Ted, why are you bringing this up?
Because, reader, one can’t help but wonder if one of them had a (presumably) well-meaning aunt named Betty.
Let me connect the dots for you, via photography:
In 1968, Aunt Betty put brush to canvas and likely changed her nephew, little Michael’s life forever.
Because this is what she painted:
This is what she painted:
This is what she painted:
THIS IS WHAT SHE PAINTED!
Now perhaps, despite this hanging on the wall of his bedroom as a child, little Mikey somehow eventually grew up to live a perfectly normal life. Perhaps.
But I’m guessing none of his childhood pets did.
Especially that unholy hybrid he was somehow inspired to create — the rabmunk, he called it — that he attempted by grafting together equal parts of rabbit and chipmunk, and then tried to cover up the blood and stitches and squeals and guilt by submerging it in pail of blue Rit dye.
Oh, Aunt Betty, what hath you wrought?
Incidentally, best thrift store painting I, and now you, have ever seen or not, $24 was too steep for my tastes. I did, however, keep an eye on it as the 29th of May crept ever closer — the day everything at the Salvation Army would be marked half-off.
Surprisingly (or not), it remained in the store for a few days, but alas, by the 28th, it was gone, perhaps to damn the future of another innocent tot. More likely, we’ll be seeing it on eBay.
With summer right around the corner and all, backyard barbecue time will be here before you know it, and what cookout would be complete without delicious ears of corn on the cob?
But how to hold ’em (and enjoy ’em) without getting our fingers all buttery and messy?
Lucky for you, and now me, the 99¢ Only Store’s got us covered when it comes to corn skewers!
Look! Look! It’s a set of 3!
Like you, I can’t wait until fall rolls around to see what they offer in the way of nutcrackers!
Gee, Thanks Fr iend.
Yes, I’d love to share in the bounty of your box of candy with the toilet-seat lid.
I notice, however, you’re not quite so generous with the wine on the table behind you.