Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

The absolutely, 100% coolest thing you’ll see today.

Here we go kids, sitcoms from the late 50s to current day. You can vote for up to five, and if your fave is not listed you can write it in!

Oh, there have been many a dumb moment on television. Fonzie jumping the shark, Geraldo opening Al Capone’s vault, Dan Quayle, I could go on for days. But yesterday may have taken the proverbial cake. It all started with this tweet:

As you can surely see, the Math here is a bit flawed. And by “a bit” I mean “horrendously.” Any 5th grader knows that 1,000,000 divided by 1,000,000 is 1, right? Right? The truth is, every American would have gotten $1.53. But hey, the guy was only $999,998.47 off the mark. Amazingly though, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams and NYT Board Member Mara Gay aired the tweet and discussed it on live TV:

Oh boy.

Freddie Krueger beat out Alex P. Keaton in Ohio? Shocking.

An absolute classic.

 

Hey kids, remember The Wonder Years? The Wonder Years aired from 1988 and 1993 and depicted the years between 1968 and 1973. When I watched the show it felt like it was set in a time long, long ago, which it was – way back when I was a youngster. But get this- if a new Wonder Years premiered today, it would cover the years between 2000 and 2005.

Think about that for a second.

After eight long years, Michael Scott’s legendary screenplay has been released to the masses. If you a fan of The Office it is certainly a must-see. Enjoy . . .

Listen, I have a soft spot for the 80s. Why, you ask? Because I started teaching in 1984 and I swear to God everyone in my Junior High classes dressed like Molly Ringwald, Ferris Bueller or Cyndi Lauper. Big hair, spandex, leg warmers, ripped jeans (yes, they existed in the 80s), neon colors, mullets, side ponytails, cut-off sweatshirts, cool hats on the girls, sweat pants rolled up to the knees, skinny ties, they were all on exhibit in the hallowed halls of Greenfield Middle School. It was glorious, man.

With that in mind I came up with the ultimate 1980s trivia quiz, designed specifically for those students I personally taught.*

*I use the term “taught” loosely.

Let us begin. Answers will be revealed in due time, so chillax.

  1. What alternative band did the students of Greenfield Middle School learn about long before they hit it big in the early 90s?
  2. What was the name of Punky Brewster’s dog?
  3. What was the name of the oldest child on The Cosby Show?
  4. What was Jolt?
  5. What popular toy did E.T. use as part of his makeshift communicator to “phone home” with?
  6. Who starred in “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’d Dead”?
  7. What was the name of He-Man’s home planet?
  8. What was Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign all about?
  9. Who hosted Star Search?
  10. Name all five Breakfast Club characters.
  11. Who was Balki and where was he from?
  12. What was Jem?
  13. Name 5 singers who performed on the song “We Are the World”.
  14. Who was Teddy Ruxpin?
  15. What was Melmac?
  16. What kind of animal was Bubbles?
  17. What happened to a space shuttle called Challenger?
  18. What was the Noid?
  19. Who was Samantha’s crush in Sixteen Candles”?
  20. What was the name of the pirate ship the gang discovers in The Goonies?
  21. Who was the main villain in Thundercats?
  22. What singer made a video with a cartoon cat?
  23. What was the video game Oregon Trail all about?
  24. Who was Mac Tonight?
  25. Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was “cool but rude”?
  26. In which movie did a character wear a t-shirt that read “what are looking at dicknose”?
  27. What do you have to fight for your right to do?
  28. In what show was Alex P. Keaton the main character?
  29. What TV show was based in southern Florida and featured Crockett and Tubbs?
  30. Describe a scrunchie.
  31. ‘Where’s the beef?” was a slogan for what fast food chain?
  32. Who sang “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”?
  33. What was a Boom Box?
  34. Who said, “Follow my nose”?
  35. Who was John Hughes?
  36. What do the initials NKOTB stand for?
  37. Who was Martha Quinn?
  38. What was the green goop on Nickelodeon called?
  39. Who were “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock, B. A. Baracus, John “Hannibal” Smith and Templeton “Faceman” Peck?
  40. Neil Patrick Harris played genius who became a doctor at 16. What was his name?

So, how many do you think you got right?

Bonus 80s video! Fun fact: My guy Steve Forbert plays Cyndi’s boyfriend in this video. Awesome.

 

Only Norm could pull this one off.

The 80s, man. What a decade. Big hair, spandex, high-wasted jeans, leg warmers, neon colors, cut-off sweatshirts, mullets, I could go on forever. I taught at a middle school in Greenfield, Ohio back then and everyone looked like they were straight out of Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Anyway, I ran across this gem today and it’s so 80s it hurts. Denim for days, man.

PS- I had no idea Jordache jeans still existed, but damned if they don’t.

PPS- That one guy looks like the lead singer of Fine Young Cannibals. Google it.

PPPS- If I was that denim I’d be distressed, too.

I don’t think I missed an episode of Soul Train or Midnight Special. Watch these dancers groove to Love Train by my buddies the O’ Jays. On a related note, Don Cornelius was the coolest cat around back then.

Just spectacular.

So I ran across a list of the Top 50 Comics in an old Rolling Stone and it got me to thinking. Isn’t it weird how some comics appeal to some people and others don’t? I swear I sat through an hour and a half Dane Cook special at a friend’s house one night and never cracked smile. In the meantime everyone else in the room was rolling in convulsive laughter. Dane Cook, man. Dude just doesn’t tickle my funny bone. Others I don’t get? Don’t judge, but . . . Bernie Mac and, oh, this is going to piss some people off . . . Kevin Hart. Sorry, but I just don’t get his act. On a related note, his movies are intolerable.

But on to the comics I find funny, from #1 to #10. Being the professional blogger that I am, I shall include video. Let us commence . . 

Norm MacDonald

What can I say? Norm cracks me up every time. Check him out the night he hosted the ESPYS. Dude offended almost everyone.

And check out the time Norm absolutely hijacked the Conan O’Brien show. A television classic that I beseech you to watch until the end. Trust me, it’s worth it:

Richard Pryor

I know not how, but I got my hands on his CRAPS- After Hours album when I was 15 or so and my life changed as I knew it. Just wild stuff for a small town southern Ohio boy in 1971. Pryor hit his peak in the late 70’s – early 80’s, and he always made me laugh hysterically. Here’s a bit from his “Live on the Sunset Strip” show.

Jonathon Winters

Jonathon Winters was the Robin Williams of the 60s. You could give him a word like “tree” or “bicycle” and he’d do a 10-minute act about it. Here is on Johnny Carson just making stuff up as he goes along.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright’s low-key observations and quirky takes on every day life absolutely kills me. Every. Time.

George Carlin

George Carlin is consistently ranked among the Top 3 All-Time comedians, for good reason. Here’s his legendary take on Baseball vs. Football.

Sam Kinison

Sam, man. He was one of the most inappropriate, offensive, cringe-worthy comedians ever. I saw him live once and I swear my jaw was sore the next day from laughing so hard and so long. Don’t believe me? Listen to hit bit called “If Jesus Was Married.” Just remember, you have been warned.

Rodney Dangerfield

Oh, man. Rodney Freakin’ Dangerfield. If you’re not familiar just watch the movie “Back to School” and get back with me. For now, just watch Rodney on Johnny Carson back in the day:

Chris Rock

Chris Rock? Give a look to this video called, “How to Not Get You’re Ass Kicked By The Police.” ‘Nuff said.

David Letterman

Dave was always funniest when he was outside the studio, like the time he visited Taco Bell…

Robin Williams

Robin Williams was manic, out of control and insane. Here’s his first appearance on the Johnny Carson Show. Classic.

So there ya go. Sure, I left out a gazillion funnymen – Chapelle, Leno, Seinfeld, and many more. Still, those are my Top 10. Who you got?

 

 

 

 

 

Hanks, man. Pretty deep sketch if you think about it.

Truth. My favorite movie or TV cliché is when somebody walks in on another person and that person, instead of stopping and listening, just keeps on doing whatever they’re doing as they talk.

[click and scroll, kids]

Nobody writes titles like me. You’re welcome.

Ladies and gentlemen, what you are witnessing is a true professional, a man at the highest level of his craft. This is the television equivalent of a hole-in-one, a perfect game, a masterpiece of art. Breathtaking really.

TV theme songs. What the hell happened to them, man? Back in the day all the good shows had cool, catchy theme songs. Today, not so much. You know what else I miss? Prime time cartoons. Sure, we have The Simpsons and Family Guy and stuff like that but back in the day we had must-see TV like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Johnny Quest. Good stuff man.

Anyway, without further ado let us take a trip down memory lane, back to a simpler time, to a time when television shows had catchy, memorable theme songs. Here are my favorites:

Cheers – “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

Perhaps the greatest TV theme song of all time is sappy as hell, but sometimes we really do want to go where everybody knows our name. This one does what a great theme song should do—set the scene while being catchy as hell at the same time.

Friends – “I’ll Be There For You”

Could “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts be a more perfect song about friends that feel like they’re your family? Although not written specifically for the show, it fit perfectly.

The Flintstones – “Meet the Flintstones”

The Flintstones. They were the modern stone-age family, man. And for anybody over the age of 50, somewhere in your brain there is an image of Fred Flintstone sliding down the back of his dinosaur crane into his waiting rag-top car. The closing theme was stellar as well. “W-I-L-M-A!!!”

Rawhide

“Keep those doggies rollin’, Rawhide! All those things I’m missin’, good vittles love and kissin’, are waiting at the end of my ride.” And who can forget The Blues Brothers singing this song in the movie? Classic stuff, and you can watch it here.

Mr. Ed

Mr. Ed was a show about a talking horse, and this song rhymes horse, of course, source, endorse, and hoarse. The 60s were a weird time, man.

Hawaii Five-0

Of all the songs on this list, this is the one that you’ll have stuck in your head for the rest of the day. The theme was later recorded by the Ventures, whose version climbed to No. 4 on the charts. And remember when Bill Murray famously butchered it as part of his Nick the Lounge Singer bit on Saturday Night Live? Good stuff.

WKRP in Cincinnati

Loved this show. “I’m living on the air in Cincinnati, Cincinnati WKRP.” So damn good.

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father – “Best Friend”

Just a great, catchy song about a father who’d lost his wife and is raising his son by himself. Fun Fact: The song was written by rock great Harry Nilsson.

Batman

Hey, the lyrics are essentially one word, but damn if this isn’t a catchy tune. And don’t mistake the campy, hilarious 1960s Batman with the dark Batman movies of today. Totally different vibe, kids.

Welcome Back Kotter – “Welcome Back”

Nearly a decade after the break-up of Lovin’ Spoonful and the mostly unsuccessful solo career that followed, frontman John Sebastian found himself with a No. 1 hit when he wrote “Welcome Back” for the TV show. Great tune.

Andy Griffith Show

This theme is quite simply an American treasure and probably the most recognizable theme in TV history. By the way, that’s song co-writer Earle Hagen you hear whistling the intro. Just beautiful in its simplicity.

The Jetsons

“Meet George Jetson! His Boy Elroy. Daughter Judy. Jane, his wife.” Yep, that’s about it, but if you were there you’ll never forget it.

Twilight Zone

This theme is so iconic that people still sing it today when something strange happens. Admit it, you’ve all done it. “Doo-do-doo-do, doo-do-doo-do . . .” Still chilling after 60-years.

Beverly Hillbillies – “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”

That’s Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on guitar and banjo kids, two of the most famous bluegrass musicians of all time. The first time through Jerry Scoggins sings the premise, and then Scruggs goes nuts on banjo. Again, just an amazing, iconic song.

M*A*S*H – “Suicide is Painless”

Yes, the song was called “Suicide is Painless”. I loved M*A*S*H, and it was unique in that it was a tragedy with a laugh track. M*A*S*H was a black comedy pointing to the absurdity and horror of war. There are really haunting lyrics to the song, but they were left out for the show. All that was needed was that beautiful melody.

Spider-Man

This song from the 1966 sitcom was the bomb-diggity, man! “Is he strong? Listen bud, he’s got radioactive blood!” LOVE this song.

The Jeffersons – “Movin’ On Up”

Let’s all sing it together!

Well we’re movin on up, to the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up to the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie!

Gilligan’s Island – “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island”

Another iconic song that nearly everyone can sing along to. And did you know the original version (below) left out the Professor and Mary Ann? That’s cold, man. Cold.

The Addams Family

Kudos to Vic Mizzy, who also wrote the theme to Green Acres, for writing awesome rhymes like “they’re altogether ooky” and “they really are a scree-um.” And how in the hell did this show get canceled after only 3-years?

Laverne & Shirley

The show was a spin-off of Happy Days—a theme song that could have made this list in its own right—and the theme was composed by the same team of Gimbel and Fox. Fun Fact: “Schlemiel = “a habitual bungler”, schlimazel = “an extremely unlucky or inept person”, and Hasenfeffer =“rabbit stew”. Oh, and that’s Cyndi Grecco singing.

Just Missing the Cut:

Combat, The Monkees, Taxi, All in the Family, The Brady Bunch, Frasier, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons, Sanford & Son, Pink Panther, The A-Team, Bonanza, The Big Valley, Three’s Company, The Love Boat, I Love Lucy, Magnum P.I., Happy Days, The Office, Green Acres.

So, who did I miss? Let me hear your favorites!

I love The Office. I’ve seen all 201 episodes in chronological order probably 7-times. Yep, straight through, with breaks of course. I don’t know, there’s just something about the awkward, sometimes uncomfortable and politically incorrect humor that I love. Anyway, I thought I’d attempt list a few of my favorite scenes of my favorite sitcom. Without further ado, let’s get it on (That’s what she said*).

*If that means nothing to you then you should probably stop right here.

Michael’s Retirement From Comedy

In this one the legendary Todd Packer shows up to offend just about everyone in the office right as Dunder Mifflin orders a company-wide review of its harassment policy. The best scene is the moment when Michael decides to retire from comedy, and in particular his favorite line, “That’s what she said.” He walks out to deliver the news to the office, and this happens . . .

Dwight’s Fitness Orb

In this scene Dwight shows up with a fitness orb, much to the annoyance of Jim. You will see that Jim handles things accordingly.

Christmas Prank

Here’s another scene involving Jim’s continual pranking of Dwight. It’s a classic.

Jim Impersonates Dwight

Once again, Jim is pranking Dwight. Successfully I might add.

CPR Training

In this scene the office is undergoing CPR training, and as usual things take a left turn. Classic Dwight here.

The Fire Drill

Dwight believes the employees in the office need a little tough love in their fire emergency training. Per usual, he goes j-u-s-t a tad too far.

The Password

Here’s a hilarious scene where the gang needs to remember the password to reset their computers. Awkward hilarity ensues.

Sensitivity Training

Michael, never known for his sensitivity, imparts his own form of training on the office.

Drug Testing

Great scene where Dwight is tries to find out who left a joint in the parking lot.

Michael Drives Into a Lake

We all can relate to this scene on some level, amirite?

Little Kid Lover

A perfect example of The Office’s awkward, non-politically correct humor.

Parkour PARKOUR!

Funny opening when Dwight, Michael and Andy are practicing their parkour moves.

Michael Scott’s School of Management

Another totally un-PC scene.

Stapler in Jello

Yet another prank that Jim pulled on Dwight.

The Injury

From the hilarious episode where Michael burnt his foot on a George Foreman grill.

Dwight Smashes the Watermelon

Short scene from the episode where Michael was going to fake his own suicide to make a point. Again, not very PC. Here they are testing the trampoline.

Can She Fit In a Rowboat?

Again, completely inappropriate. Also funny as hell.

Every “That’s What She Said”

Regarding the previously mentioned “that’s what she said”, here’s every one ever.

Michael’s Appearance at Dwight’s Wedding

In the final episode, Michael made a surprise appearance. This was after he’d left the show a couple years prior. It was a poignant, touching scene.

Opening to The Emmys

Thought I’d throw this in as a bonus. Enjoy!

There are a hundred other scenes I could’ve picked, these were just off the top of my head. Stay tuned. I’ll leave you with the best of several characters and some random videos:

 

 

 

This is a few years old but is still hysterical. LOVE Conan.

The NBA had their goofy awards show last night and Charles Barkley was recognizing Bill Russell for some reason, blah-blah-blah. Anyhoo, this was Bill’s reaction. Well played, Bill. Well played.

In the days leading up to the royal wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Thomas J. Mace-Archer-Mills was all over your television screens. You remember him. The dude with the tweed caps and bowties, heavy accent, just British like you read about. He was always identified as an expert on the monarchy.

Yeah, turns out Mace-Archer-Mills is actually an American guy from New York named Thomas Muscatello.

Oh, that’s too good.

Listen, Muscatello is an expert on the monarchy. He’s the founder and chairman of the British Monarchist Society and publishes Crown and Country magazine, which covers royal topics. Bro is even applying for British citizenship, and he found an elderly British man and woman who agreed he can call them his grandparents.

Well, that’s weird.

The story is that he’s been obsessed with the royals since he was a kid. While acting in “Oliver” in a high school play he learned all about British Royal history. And somehow, Muscatello uses this to land a job for himself as a royal consultant.

I don’t know, there’s just something about all the reverence and seriousness over this wedding that makes this funny. The “royal expert” everyone was breathlessly listening to was actually Tommy Muscatello from New York. You can’t make this stuff up, man.

While perusing the worldwide interweb late last night I stumbled across this little mind-blowing nugget. The pilot episode of a TV series called The Lone Gunmen, broadcast on March 4th, 2001, featured a plot to hijack a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center. That, my friends, is chilling. Watch and try not to feel all freaky and whatnot:

Aaaand, speaking of predictions . . .

The actor Creed Bratton went by his actual name in the TV sitcom The Office, playing Creed Bratton. He was also a member of the band The Grass Roots.

 

Creed Bratton, far right.

 

 

You know what I hate most about all the talking sports heads on television? When they imprint how they think they would feel upon the athletes they’re covering. Some examples:

Boy, the Falcons are really looking to get revenge for that waxing the Eagles gave them 2-years ago!”
 
“Well Curt, it’s Senior Night here at Schmedlap Field so I’m certain the Panthers are going to be fired up to play!”
 
“Well, we all know what Billy Bob Stinkerton said about the Owls last week, and they didn’t like it one bit. That’s bulletin board material Joe!”

And all I’ve heard this week on Sports Talk Radio is how the negative ESPN story on the Patriots is going to fire up New England . . .

Wow, that’s going to be something! The Patriots have a point to prove now! They have extra incentive to win!”

Uh, no they don’t. Belichick won’t give that nonsense a second thought.

Truth be told, emotions last about a minute into a competition and then the teams have to play the game. All that “we owe them from last year” stuff doesn’t go very far. As Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit.

So true.

Ask any athlete at any level. You can get as fired up as you want, but after the first few minutes you have to play the game. You get tired. That’s when fundamentals and preparation come into play.

The fact is the team that’s the most prepared and/or has the most talent is going to win. You can play all the uplifting songs, show all the inspirational videos, and give all the rousing pep talks you want, but if you’re not prepared and mentally ready to play you’re going to lose.

Simple as that.