follow us in feedly
‘Nightmare Feddy,’ ‘Anna Montana’ and other Chinese import toy knock-off fails
11:21 am

Pop Culture


Photo via
Several years ago I first became aware of “Nightmare Feddy,” a Chinese bootleg doll of Freddy Krueger from the popular A Nightmare on Elm Street horror franchise, and I’ve been laughing about him ever since. I’m not sure what it is specifically about the name “Nightmare Feddy” that I find so funny, but its one of those things that pops into my head from time to time and I just kind of start laughing to myself over it. “Nightmare Feddy.” It’s just so stupid.

Photo via
Apparently I’m not the only person obsessed with “Feddy.” I’m no toy collector, but I’ve wanted one of these Chinese failure figures for years now—I’ve kept my eyes peeled for one in the wild, to no avail. They turn up regularly on eBay,  usually priced between $40 to $80. Yeah, I want this dumb conversation piece, but not forty bucks worth.

But still, just look at this stupid thing. Look at its shoes!

Photo via
“Nightmare Feddy” might be a scarce, improbable collector’s item, but a trip to your local Dollar Tree will undoubtedly reveal shelves upon shelves of strangely-titled knock-off toys which are good for similar ESL laughs.

Here’s a treasury of Chinese toy knock-off fails:

Feddy’s cousin: “Monster”

“Spook Chasers”

“Anna Montana”
More Chinese toy fails after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Stunning mosaics of famous paintings and photos (and Hunter S. Thompson!) made entirely of LEGOs
12:24 pm

Pop Culture


Hunter S. Thompson LEGO mosaic
Hunter S. Thompson LEGO mosaic. Made with 7,393 LEGO bricks

Andy Bauch, an artist and software developer from Queens, New York (now living and working in LA), creates his incredibly detailed mosaics using thousands of LEGO bricks.

According to Bauch, his obsession with LEGO pieces didn’t start when he was a child, but rather later on in life. In 2010 Bauch created his first LEGO mosaic, a reproduction of a Roy Lichtenstein painting which came about in order to impress a girl. I’m not sure if Bauch’s attempt to find love by way of LEGO was successful, but his reproductions of two of Lichtenstein’s paintings,  “Girl with Hair Ribbon,” and “The Kiss V” are spot-on. It takes Bauch many thousands of LEGO bricks (with hundreds of dollars spent on the LEGO pieces themselves), and anywhere from ten to 60 hours to make one of his bricky works of art. When it comes to his creative process, Bauch is tight-lipped, preferring to credit a team of “pygmy hippos” as the driving force behind his painstaking pieces. Bauch’s LEGO portraits are also available for purchase (from $1,800 - $3,600 each) via his Etsy shop.
LEGO mosaic of
LEGO mosaic of “The Kiss V”. Made with 3,491 LEGO bricks (originally painted by Roy Lichtenstein in 1964)
More of Bauch’s LEGO mosaics, as well as a time-lapse video of Bauch putting together “Girl with Hair Ribbon,” can be seen after the jump.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Jailbait jamboree: Creepy countdown of the top ten ‘inappropriate’ songs that were somehow hits
09:50 am

Pop Culture


“They don’t write ‘em like they did in the old days”—certainly a true statement, but in some cases that may really be for the best.

Here’s a top-ten countdown of songs with sketchy lyrics or themes related to (Hebephiliac to Ephebophiliac) relations with minors that probably wouldn’t make the cut for acceptability in 2015. Through the backward lens of modern social and moral definitions of appropriateness, these ten tracks err on the side of “not.”

Some of these songs are merely cringeworthy in hindsight. Some are downright scary. Yet each of these songs was either a hit single or a fan favorite on a hit album. In today’s social climate it would be career suicide for a mainstream artist attempting to release a song with lyrics like the ones on this list.

10. Aerosmith “Walk This Way”

This song of young lust does specify that the narrator is a “high school loser,” but “Walk This Way” makes the ten spot for what is certainly one of the sleaziest lines ever uttered in a (really popular hit) rock song: “I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder, oh the times I could reminisce.” Gross, dude. What was she? Twelve?
More pedo-pop ‘standards,’ after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
I wanna be your DOLL: Plush toys of Iggy, Bowie, DEVO, Blondie, Lemmy, Bjork, Siouxsie and MORE!
12:02 pm

Pop Culture


Iggy Pop plush toy
Plush Iggy Pop toy

The plush renditions you are about to see of some of the most influential cultural icons in history were created by Sao Paulo, Brazil based illustrator and toy designer, Josmar Madureira. His work was recently featured in a fantastic looking book, Toy Land by Louis Bou which boasts more than a half of a million examples of toy art from around the world created in various mediums such as vinyl, metal, fabric and of course, plush.
Ian Curtis of Joy Division plush toy
Ian Curtis
A a self-described addict of artifacts such as old cartoons, 60’s psychedelia and pop art among other cool pursuits, Madureira (who operates under the moniker “Katkiller”), has put out an extensive line of plush toys in the images of cultural movers and shakers such as Iggy Pop, Bjork (in her infamous “swan dress” that she wore to the Academy Awards in 2001 no less) and Ian Curtis of Joy Division, as well as artists and famous couture designers like Salvador Dali and Vivienne Westwood. There’s even a few cinematic characters thrown into Madureira’s massive mix of toys from the film A Clockwork Orange and everyone’s favorite taxi driver, Travis Bickle.
Debbie Harry of Blondie plush toy
Debbie Harry
Joey Ramone plush toy
Joey Ramone
After the jump, more than 30 images of Josmar Madureira’s posh plush collection for you to peruse!

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Dick Tracy meets the Punks
12:55 pm

Pop Culture


I first learned of the existence of a punk plotline in the long-running Dick Tracy series in Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage’s essential compilation Punk: An Aesthetic, which reproduces a page from a 1979 issue of Circus magazine reporting on it.

Here’s what happened. From August through November 1979, Dick Tracy ran an extended plot in which the bad guys were two punk rockers. It certainly bears some resemblance to the famous “Quincy punk episode,” and the timing is right too. Note that the credit line on these comics is Gould/Fletcher/Collins. Max Collins wrote it, and Rick Fletcher was the artist—Chester Gould had created the strip and wrote and drew it for several decades, but he retired in 1977.

In the plot, Dick and his wife, Tess Trueheart Tracy, take a vacation to Washington state to visit their daughter Bonnie. Traveling with them is their elderly actor friend Vitamin Flintheart. While they’re on their trip, two punks named Bony and Claudine are perpetrating some kind of Badlands-ish spree of terror. The idea is that Bony needs money to finance a studio session to record an album, so he’s been holding up stores. We see him hold up a pawn shop, where he also snags an original Les Paul guitar. Eventually Tracy links up with the local authorities—Tracy and the local man on the scene are drawn to look almost exactly the same, to my eyes—and there’s a kind of hostage situation involving Vitamin and Bonnie—during which Bonnie gives birth to Dick Tracy’s second grandchild—and eventually Bony and Claudine are apprehended. In a nice touch, it turns out that the omnipresent safety pin in Claudine’s ear is used to aid in the delivery of the newborn.

The Circus article from 1979 covering the Dick Tracy plot about punk music
The writer of the series, Max Collins, states in the introduction this was inspired by the recent interest in new wave music—Collins himself was in a band called Crusin’, it turns out. There doesn’t seem to be much animus towards the punk musicians here except insofar as the nihilism inherent in the punk philosophy does seem consistent with an amoral attitude and thus a crime spree that can be used as a narrative. Bony doesn’t seem based on anyone in particular, and his criminal tendencies aren’t presented as deriving from his status as a punk musician per se—he’s just a psychopath. The only band name-checked by the series is Cheap Trick, in the strip reproduced by Circus, according to whom the original panels mentioning them were sent to the band as a gift.

I got ahold of the paperback and have scanned in some of the pages here. I’ve included some of the key moments involving Bony, but I’ve left a lot of the story out. IDW Publishing has been putting out the complete Dick Tracy comics for a while now, but I don’t know which volume this plot appears in.

You can see in the Circus article that the Sunday strips apparently just jammed two regular-length strips together with a couple of introductory panels. In a story of this type, told over many weeks 3 panels at a time, narrative compression and curious juxtapositions are paramount. The book presents those panels differently, in groups of three, no matter what day they appeared. The reason for pointing this out is that the dates I’ve provided aren’t to be taken as gospel; in some cases they may be an approximation. (Some of the strips include the date, but not all do.)

The Circus article points out that the plot that came after the Bony plot featured characters named Quiver and Tom Trembly, who were based on Debbie Harry and Elvis Costello; I’ve included pics of those characters at the bottom of the post.

If you click on any image in this post, you will be able to see a larger version.


August 16, 1979

August 17, 1979
Read the rest of the panels after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
An Archies/Ramones comic book is an actual thing that is going to happen
12:27 pm

Pop Culture


Um, holy shit: this weekend, at a San Diego ComicCon panel called “Comics & Pop Music: Making New Noise,” Archie Comics’  Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg announced an impending special issue wherein the fictional bubblegum pop band the Archies will meet real-world ur-punks the Ramones. Via Comics Alliance:

Segura: “Matt got in touch with the Ramones’ people, and they were super into it. So I reached out to Gisele [Lagace, illustrator], whom I’d worked with before on the “Occupy Riverdale” story and other things. We’re all huge Ramones fans, and though it took a while to work out the details, once things started moving, it actually went pretty quick. It’s gonna be a super-fun oversized one-shot, with covers by some truly amazing artists (whom I can’t announce just yet), and it syncs up nicely because it’ll be the 75th Anniversary of Archie, and the 40th Anniversary of the Ramones… It’s really kinda like a dream come true to be doing this.”

While the pairing may seem counterintuitive at first glance, the Ramones drew a lot of inspiration from bubblegum music. I recall once reading a quotation that I can’t just now find—Joey Ramone saying the band formed with the intention of being “a nouveau bubblegum group with guts.” And indeed, it’s mighty easy to imagine songs like “Rockaway Beach” or “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”  being 1910 Fruitgum Company, Archies, or Ohio Express covers, which they of course are not. And Johnny Ramone once offered this info to the Guardian:

“I hate to blow the mystique,” Johnny Ramone once confessed, “but we really liked bubblegum music, and we really liked the Bay City Rollers. Their song Saturday Night had a great chant in it, so we wanted a song with a chant in it: ‘Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!’ on Blitzkrieg Bop was our Saturday Night.”

This won’t be the first time the Ramones have been cartoonified. Dangerous Minds told you about the wonderful animated video for “Chain Saw” just a few months ago, in fact. Here’s another, an amusing mashup of the Ramones with the Flintstones.

Hat-tip to Derf

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Tom Scharpling Interview: ‘The Best Show,’ death, comedy and radio (not necessarily in that order)
05:43 pm

Pop Culture


Jon Wurster and Tom Scharpling, collectively Scharpling & Wurster

This is a guest post from New York-based writer Mike Sacks. Mike’s latest book is Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers from Viking Penguin.

The long-form radio comedy and music program The Best Show ran on Jersey City, New Jersey’s WFMU from 2000 to 2013. This past year, The Best Show segued into the podcast-only realm, where it streams live every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM EST at Past radio shows, dating back to 2000, can be found at

In May, the Chicago-based label Numero released a glorious boxed set containing 75 incredibly nuanced radio comedic bits from The Best Show (spread over 16 CDs) between Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster that should be a primer for anyone interested in comedy. Fifty of these bits are previously unreleased or unaired.

For those not familiar, a typical episode of The Best Show consists of music culled by Tom, call-ins from listeners, some of whom are regulars, and phone conversations between comedy-writer Tom and comedian and professional drummer Jon Wurster. Over the years, the pair have created a virtual, three-dimensional world out of a proud, imaginary town called Newbridge, New Jersey. It’s Lake Wobegon without the nose whistling.

The boxed set, called The Best of the Best Show, contains a 108-page hardcover book, featuring essays by comedians Patton Oswalt and Julie Klausner, and a 22-page interview with Tom and Jon conducted by Jake Fogelnest.

Beyond even that, there are temporary tattoos, postcards, and four hours of bonus material, including the classic bit “The Bruce Willis Saga.” This boxed set will keep you occupied this summer—and beyond. I’ve been listening non-stop for the past few weeks. It has the comedic density of an imploded star. It’s the most impressive comedy album/CD/USB drive I’ve ever heard. The consistency and variety are amazing.

The Best Show is comedy in its purest form. It’s not possible that this show could be improved upon in a different format, whether it be television, movies or print. Or whether the show included a team of writers or a cast or performers. Long-form radio is the perfect medium for The Best Show, and if it has taken mainstream audiences awhile to find it (years after the comedy intelligentsia fell in love), then so be it.

I spoke with Tom one Friday afternoon at a noisy bar in the World Trade Center area about the new boxed set, the recent death of his father, and many other subjects. Much thanks must go out to my friend Michal Addady for her helpful assistance.

You’re now working as a writer on the new HBO show Divorce which will air this fall. Who else is in the writing room?

[Irish writer and director] Sharon Horgan [Pulling, Catastrophe] created the show, and she’s running it with Paul Simms. Sharon is incredibly funny and Paul’s never worked on a bad show. He’s written for Flight of the Conchords, Late Night with David Letterman, The Larry Sanders Show, NewsRadio. He runs a great room.

Another writer is Adam Resnick [Late Night with David Letterman, Get a Life, Cabin Boy].

I’m a huge fan of Adam’s work. It’s been great to see the recent uptick in interest and appreciation for Get a Life and Cabin Boy. It’s well deserved.

It’s funny. It’s almost had to reach the lowest possible level for Get a Life and Cabin Boy to bounce back to where they’ve always belonged. I have a lot of theories on why and how everything bad happened with Get a Life and Cabin Boy. People like to think they’re smarter than dumb Hollywood products, and these two got misinterpreted as being dumb comedies. Audiences wanted to be like, “How dare you push dumb things on us!” The difference is that Cabin Boy knows what it is. It’s not just a crass movie by Pauly Shore that’s trying to convince you that it’s smart but it’s also dumb. No, this was a smart movie made by smart people who were fascinated with the parameters of—who were so deep into comedy . . .

I sometimes wonder if one can be too deep into comedy when making a show or a movie intended to be a financial and popular success.

I don’t know. I think Get a Life and Cabin Boy have been vindicated.

It took a long time.

Sometimes it takes a long time, Mike. Sometimes you start doing a radio show when Bill Clinton is president and then you start finally getting attention when Obama is about to stop being president.

Well, let’s talk about your show and the attention it’s recently been receiving. And national attention. I saw your and Jon’s appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers [on May 15, 2015] to promote The Best of the Best Show. That must have been fun.

I don’t know if it was fun. I mean, that’s not fun, it’s terrifying.

It’s a strange thing to be on a show like that. It’s a fake conversation in a way. You’re taking a thing and you’re reducing it to two sentences. Our show is not an easy thing to talk about. It doesn’t necessarily translate that quickly, but we tried. It was great and Seth was great. I was excited about the whole thing. But I was also feeling like, This is not natural.

I recently attended my first-ever broadcast of a late-night show, in this case Letterman’s. It was fascinating to watch the behind-the-scenes machinations. It’s anything but natural. At one point, Reese Witherspoon, who was promoting her new movie, Hot Pursuit, showed a clip from the movie. I kept watching Reese, off camera, who was staring ahead, stony-faced. No expression. And it was only when she knew the cameras were about to go live again that she lit up and started laughing, as if she found the clip hilarious and hadn’t already seen it a hundred times.

It’s presentation. It’s just all a giant illusion, right? All of it.

Not your show.

Sure it is. It’s all presentational.

It’s presentational, but it’s not an illusion.

No, it’s replicating a call-in show, in a way.

It is a call-in show.

Yeah, but it’s also a version of a call-in show. I mean, do I care about the answers to the topics half the time? Not necessarily.

But you do obviously care greatly about the details. I’ve also been lucky enough to attend a live taping of your show. I remember that you were in the middle of a bit with Jon—who was in character at the time—and, as part of the bit, he told you to climb beneath your desk. Instead of pretending to do so, you actually got beneath your desk and asked, “Okay, now what?”

Well, I wanted it to sound good. To get that sound across, that’s what that was all about. I didn’t need to do it for performance sake, but I wanted it to sound like I was actually under the table.

That sense of detail is what makes your new boxed set so amazing. It’s an entire, very believable world you’ve created. It’s like a comedic version of Westeros or Narnia. There’s everything in this town: factories, mountains, lakes, even a jungle. Scores of characters, many of whom are related. I’m almost surprised there aren’t Newbridge Larpers.

As a performer, Jon is fully formed. He’s as talented as it gets. He’s working on two different levels: he’s one of the best drummers going [for Superchunk, Mountain Goats, Bob Mould and others], but that’s just one half of who he is. The other half is that he’s one of the best comedians going. This never happens.

Ringo did okay.

Jon’s funnier than Ringo. And a better drummer.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Frankie goes to a bacchanalian gay fetish bar: The original, hilarious banned video for ‘Relax’
09:39 am

Pop Culture


Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 1983 single “Relax” is so gay. Specifically gay sex. It’s amazing that when the song first came out, the band actually tried to deny its obvious prurience. Two years later though, co-songwriter and bassist Mark O’Toole wrote in the liner notes of their follow-up album, “when people ask you what ‘Relax’ was about, when it first came out we used to pretend it was about motivation, and really it was about shagging.” It wasn’t the most forgiving time for explicit homoerotic sexuality, but the band was never apologetic, and really pushed the boundaries.

During an infamous Top of the Pops performance, frontman Holly Johnson actually tore up a copy of The Sun, the tawdry rag that had been harassing his parents at home for quotes about their gay son. “Relax” also had a 16-minute-long “Sex Mix” that was just a bunch of samples of water noises—apparently even gay bars refused to play it. Then there is the original music video for “Relax,” an unintentionally hilarious ode to gay hedonism, which was almost immediately banned.

Johnson says the video got pulled when “a big wig in the ‘Big Brother Broadcasting Company’” found his kids watching it. Later the record company asked them to make a second video, the one everyone now knows as the “Relax” video. The second video is dated, naturally, and Johnson describes it as “almost like a satire of a regulation pop video—you know, guys in makeup and laser beams, lots of looking at the camera.” To be fair, the song does contain the line “hit me with your laser beams,” but I think that might be referencing something a little less… literal.

The video is utterly ridiculous of course, but what strikes me is the relative tameness of the queer debauchery. Drag queens and leather daddies, some people in cages and on leashes, a lot of mesh tank tops and gratuitous contouring blush, an actual tiger, and a hedonistic old queen overseeing the entire spectacle while being shaved. Completely insane? Yes. Is there innuendo? Definitely (especially the rather obvious reference to water sports). But there’s nothing hardcore, and it’s hard to believe that a video featuring this kind of hetero sybaritism would have gotten banned.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Caitlyn Jenner, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Biggie, Beyoncé and more, painted in food
08:50 am

Pop Culture


Jesse Bearden is an illustrator and art director who hails from Austin, TX and has a clear flair for portraiture. Her online portfolio is full of quite nice pencil, ink, and watercolor works, but she really shines when she takes her work to the fridge and pantry. Her Instagram—totally worth following, I suppose it should go without saying—is full of wonderful celebrity portraits that she executed in food. Few of the foods chosen are conceptually pertinent—Caitlyn Jenner rendered in Wheaties (and what I assume must be Cocoa Pebbles?) was a gimme, no? But Bearden’s choices are still inspired: the frosting Beyonce, condiment Notorious B.I.G., bagel John Lennon, chocolate Elvis (SO MUCH BETTER THAN VELVET ELVIS, RIGHT?) and a Hendrix made out of fruit preserves are all great fun. This thread in her personal work looks to be creeping into Bearden’s professional life—she recently did a time-lapse video, for McDonald’s, of herself painting a coffee drinker in McDonald’s coffee.

Hopefully, she didn’t get burned.



Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Pirate radio station plays Geto Boys for months, middle-aged white guy with kids gets pissed
09:06 am

Pop Culture


It was reported by Local 12 WKRC-TV news last week that a pirate radio station in Cincinatti had been playing nothing but gangsta rap group, the Geto Boys, for months until a concerned citizen made a call to the FCC.

The worldview and imagery of the Geto Boys’ transgressive lyrics could be described as Clive Barker filtered through Iceberg Slim. Certainly not kids-stuff, but we still can’t help but laugh like twelve-year-olds at their lyrics and at this middle-aged white guy freaking out about them.

The first question that comes to mind is “why would someone set up a pirate radio station to play the Geto Boys for months?” The answer to that question being, of course, “because ‘why not?’” and also “because they’re fucking awesome.” One of the most crucial and influential gangsta rap acts since the late ‘80s, Houston Texas’ Geto Boys have always played by their own rules, never selling out, always on that “other level of the game.” The Geto Boys’ own lyrics decry the commercial radio stations that would never play their music: “a lot of bullshit records make hits, because the radio is all about politics,” and “fuck your radio stations and fuck your parents against rap—we buried you fucking cockroaches”—perfect fodder for pirate radio.

The news report on the incident features an “operations specialist ” at a local (legit) radio station who essentially gives a grocery list of what equipment you would need to procure to start your very own pirate station.

But the star of the report is Pete Witte who made the call to the FCC about the illegal station’s problematic broadcasts. “It’s very challenging as a parent to listen to this channel and to think that my kids, on a whim, or by being influenced by friends, could tune this in.”

Concerned parent worried about content on his childrens’ radios.
Here’s the thing, middle-aged white guy: it’s 2015 and I promise your kids are not listening to FM radio.

This guy’s gonna shit when someone tells him about the INTERNET.

A staticky broadcast of “Read These Nikes” ain’t got dick on “two girls, one cup.” It’s Goaste O’clock—do you know where your children are?

Here’s the full story on the pirate radio broadcast:

And if you aren’t familiar with the Geto Boys’ quality science, there’s a new romantic guy dancing to “Size Ain’t Shit” after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Page 3 of 187  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›