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Bizarre 80’s public access TV gone insane: ‘Unwind With The Sweeties’
10.25.2014
09:12 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
cable access
The Sweeties


 
The eighties were so weird. Even at the time we thought that era was bad, but looking back I always am blown away at how truly amazing that decade was.

It was a time of learning about so much wild stuff because there was suddenly a “critical mass” interest in the “weird” past and tons of CD reissues of… virtually everything. And we were all digging it up—and digging the shit out of it—just as it was about to be dumped, burned or lost. In this pilgrimage was also a great sort of confusion of the decades, known by myself and friends as the “eighties/fifties.” Loads of bands were “eighties/fifties” in great and horrible ways (think DEVO or B-52s as opposed to, say, the Stray Cats). Add onto all this the emergence of cable/public access TV and its availability to anyone with an idea (and follow-through).

My friends in LA and I (in NYC) would trade the weirdest stuff we could find and tape off air. At that time (and still, amazingly enough) my West Coast friends were members of Redd Kross, White Flag, filmmaker and Painted Willie drummer Dave Markey and a whole lot of the insane genius people they hung around with. When our almost mirror image of them (New York-style) collided, it was always amazing.
 

 
One of the biggest public access obsessions of my West Coast tape-trading pals was a show called Unwind with the Sweeties. Two bizarro “fifties/eighties” entities with odd faces attached to wool ski-masks pulled completely over their faces, who called each other “Sweetie.” They did boring and mundane things like go to the mall, the bakery, or sometimes, sitting in their cool junk-infested set, they’d just drift into kooky daydreams, or do nothing at all AND IT WAS AMAZING!

They were shrouded in mystery and we all tried to find out who they were. We really went all out, at least my LA buddies did. But we never found out any information about the Sweeties! Nothing! How perfect is that? Like the Residents in a dada situation comedy.
 

 
I got to thinking about writing this piece so of course I googled them. There wasn’t much, but there was what seemed to be a blog that was done by them all these years later!  The first couple of entries were funny and what I expected but suddenly, things became very very dark.

Oddly, written in a similar tone as the Sweeties’ first entries were sicker entries with illustrations straight out of a Mexican tabloid. This was like a horror film. I cannot imagine what the hell this is all about and though I’m curious it also really freaks me out. I would not look if you don’t want to see a mutilated dead body, yet the text is written in their “voice” and is actually quite funny. There’s also a link to their Facebook page which does not seem to exist.

More on the mystery of The Sweeties after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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Ridonkulous ‘Beat Club’ showcase featuring Captain Beefheart, MC5, Alice Cooper, NY Dolls and more!


 
Beat Club was the German TV show dedicated to rock performance that later became Musikladen (Music Store), a show we’ve featured here at DM many times. I don’t know exactly what kind of acid they put into the performers’ (or the producers’) drinks, but this compilation, known as “The Crazy World” (and originally released on a Laserdisc) is totally out-o-sight and generally kicks ass. Enhancing all the rockin’ are a lot of groove-tastic green screen effects. The visuals on this show were almost as mind-bending as the audio.
 

The Three Faces of Vliet
 
The music is tuneful and heavy, all around. I’d scarcely heard any Flo & Eddie, but they hang right in there with the rest of them. I was prepared not to dig the Slade number much, but it rocked. Everything on this compilation rocks, even the otherwise sprightly number by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

They really don’t show music like this on TV anymore, like ever. I’m not sure people can even make music like this any more, maybe the iPhones are slowly sucking it out of us. Hmmm. I’m open to hypotheses.
 

Track listing:
Alice Cooper: “I’m Eighteen”
Alice Cooper: “Public Animal #9”
Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: “I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby”
Phlorescent Leech and Eddie: “Feel Older Now”
MC5: “Kick Out The Jams”
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown: “Fire”
Slade: “Goz I Luv You”
New York Dolls: “Lookin’ For A Kiss”
Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band: “I’m The Urban Spaceman”

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Amazing vinyl toys of Bill Murray, Mighty Boosh, IT Crowd, The Shining & Christopher Walken


Tubbs & Edward from The League of Gentlemen

UK-based advertising and design company A Large Evil Corporation has these amazing vinyl dolls they’re creating daily for their blog to get into the Halloween spirit. I’m completely drooling over the The League of Gentlemen and Mighty Boosh vinyl toys. I never thought in a million years I’d see Tubbs and Edward dolls! They’re just brilliant!

Keep checking out A Large Evil Corporation’s blog as they’re adding new ones all the time. I’m curious as who or what they’ll do next (and if one can purchase these masterpieces? It’s unclear.) Maybe a Jill Tyrell figure (played by Julia Davis) from the dark British comedy Nighty Night?


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
 

Christopher Walken
 

The Hitcher from The Mighty Boosh
 

The Torrances from The Shining
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Walter White goes Gonzo: ‘Breaking Bad’ illustrations by Ralph Steadman
10.14.2014
01:11 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Television

Tags:
Breaking Bad
Ralph Steadman

Saul Goodman Ralph Steadman
Saul Goodman by Ralph Steadman
 
For the upcoming limited-edition Blu-ray release of Breaking Bad, show creator Vince Gilligan joined forces with Gonzo illustrator Ralph Steadman to create six different covers for each season of the show. Available in February, these spectacular collectibles will be sold exclusively by Zavvi.com ($30 bucks each). Pre-order is going on now but be forewarned, the Gus “The Chicken Man” Fring edition for season four (as well as Mike Ehrmantraut’s season five and Hank Schrader’s show finale edition) have already sold-out. Images from each of the six covers follow.
 
Gus Fring by Ralph Steadman
Gus Fring
 
Walter White by Ralph Steadman
Walter White
 
Hank Scrader by Ralph Steadman
Hank Schrader
 
Mike Ehrmantraut by Ralph Steadman
Mike Ehrmantraut
 
Jesse Pinkman by Ralph Steadman
Jesse Pinkman
 
Via Paste Magazine

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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‘Cock-a-doodle-dick-shit!’ The outtakes of Ernie Anderson, a.k.a. Ghoulardi
10.14.2014
11:47 am

Topics:
Advertising
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Ghoulardi
Ernie Anderson


 
Last year we related the saga of Cleveland’s favorite local TV host, Ernie Anderson, more commonly known as Ghoulardi. Anderson’s character Ghoulardi hosted a Friday late-night horror movie show from 1963 to 1966 on WJW-TV, Cleveland’s channel 8. His schtick was strongly Beatnik-derived, and he has remained a hero to the residents of Northeast Ohio ever since, a group that includes the Cramps, who spent time in Akron before breaking it wider in NYC and adopted Ghoulardi’s motto “Stay Sick!” as their very own. You can find out more about Ghoulardi in Tom Feran’s book Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland TV’s Wildest Ride. (The greatest legacy of Anderson, who died in 1997, may well be his famous son, the director Paul Thomas Anderson.)

After Anderson fled Cleveland for Los Angeles, he became “the voice of prime time ABC” for much of the 1970s and 1980s. On this visit to the set of Late Night with David Letterman in 1983, Anderson demonstrated the artistry of the network promo voiceover. As such, anyone who was a kid during the late 1970s and after probably remembers Anderson’s voice urging you to tune in to The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Happy Days, Eight Is Enough, and whatever else ABC wanted you to watch. When Anderson was doing the fake promos (requested by his fans—the man had a lot of fans) on Letterman, you could see a little bit of his method, holding his hand up slightly and barking “Ah-gee-wa-wa!” as vocal prep to get in the right frame of mind. After a flub, he admits that “I swear a lot.”
 

Anderson on Letterman displaying his craft
 
Here’s the proof of that assertion. Dana Gould mentioned these outtakes on his podcast (episode “Son of Halloweenery”), and I found them so funny I just had to pass them on. Someone collected about ten minutes of a charismatic and professional TV announcer Ernie Anderson losing his shit over and over and over again, and it’s every bit as priceless as you might imagine….. Anderson has particular trouble with the word frighteningly, which is ironic considering his Ghoulardi alter ego. Among the things Anderson spits out in a fit of pique: “You’ll see an American gladiator’s son walk his AHHH SHIT!” “You’ll have to put some sound effects in there or some fucking pig whistles, I don’t know.” “Aaaaand you’ll meet our special guest fuckit balls tits!” and “It’s all a fuckin’ kiss my ass mish-mash….”

You’ll have to discover the rest on your own!
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Great moments in ‘Star Trek’: Captain Kirk and the stalagmite dildo weapon
10.14.2014
11:10 am

Topics:
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Star Trek


 
In a classic scene from the Star Trek episode titled “What are Little Girls Made Of” (season one, episode seven, which aired on October 20th, 1966) we are treated to a skirmish involving Captain Kirk, a stalactite strongly resembling a huge dildo and a giant alien named “Ruk,” played by actor Ted Cassidy (who portrayed “Lurch” on the The Addams Family). Thirty-five minutes into the episode, Kirk is chased by Ruk into the caves of the alien planet he teleported to. To defend himself, Kirk pulls a huge piece of stalactite from the ceiling of the cave and after a quick edit, we get to see Captain Kirk holding what looks inexplicably like a gigantic marital aid. Kirk smacks Ruk around with it and you get to wonder how hard the production crew was laughing when this one slipped by the censors over at NBC.

In case you are short on time, someone has kindly put together a 25-second video summary of the episode that is posted below for your perusal. The full episode is currently streaming on Vimeo
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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‘Bob’s Boners’: The (inevitable?) ‘Bob’s Burgers’ porn parody
10.10.2014
09:14 am

Topics:
Amusing
Sex
Television

Tags:
Bob's Burgers


 
This is something I never thought I’d be typing out in a million years, but here goes: There’s a Bob’s Burgers porn parody called Bob’s Boners. Now I know there are a lot of porn parodies out there like Golden Girls XXX, Gay of Thrones, Naporneon Dynamite, Down on Abby: Tales From Bottomley Manor, This Ain’t Curb Your Enthusiasm: Curb Your Orgasm, aaaannnd drumroll please… Scooby-doo XXX: The Mystery of the Missing Panties.

But Bob’s Burgers?! Really? There’s even a Tina Belcher character who moans her signature “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” 

This one has me flummoxed. WHO would get off on seeing the Belcher family fuck? I have no words.

 
via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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No fun! ‘Halloween Safety’ video from 1977 is a major buzzkill
10.10.2014
09:12 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Halloween
PSA


 
Here’s a PSA from 1977 put out by Centron Educational Films called “Halloween Safety” that literally drains all the joy out of Halloween in about eleven minutes. The video is a copy of the original 16mm film that a blogger by the name of Jason Willis, who appeared in the film when he was seven, spent some time tracking down in order to see his fourteen-second cameo. Jason also provides some cool backstory on the loopy PSA on his blog, Scar Stuff. (It’s probably worth mentioning that Herk Harvey, the principal director at Centron, also directed cult classic Carnival of Souls.)

The long list of no-no’s on this vintage reel include not wearing black clothing, not wearing a mask, not eating candy (it’s going to be tainted anyway so why bother), no running, no pranks and for the love of god DON’T dress up like a traditional witch! It’s dangerous.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Herk Harvey’s ‘Carnival of Souls’

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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The backstory of Letterman legend Larry ‘Bud’ Melman


 
Have you ever wondered where David Letterman found Larry “Bud” Melman? Of course you have. Find out the answer in this exclusive excerpt from Brian Abrams’ newly-released Amazon Kindle Single AND NOW…An Oral History of “Late Night with David Letterman,” 1982-1993.

At a time when cable TV was nonexistent and Saturday Night Live’s talent and ratings simultaneously took a nosedive, David Letterman’s 12:30 a.m. talk show transformed comedy forever with its ironic obsessions and enabled a generation of writers to flourish. AND NOW…An Oral History of “Late Night with David Letterman,” 1982-1993is comprised of dozens of original interviews with those who worked and guested during Letterman’s NBC stint— beginning with an odd precursor in a problematic 10 a.m. slot, moving to the launch of the iconic Late Night with then-head writer (and then-girlfriend) Merrill Markoe, and ending with his final days at 30 Rock before heading west for CBS’s Ed Sullivan Theater…seven blocks away.

BARRY SAND Executive producer, The David Letterman Show (1980), SCTV (1980-81), Late Night with David Letterman (1982-87): We wanted to get guests that nobody ever thought of — not heavy billboard people. It was the strange guy, the guy who inflated his lawn chair that took off and flew over an airport. Those were the memorable characters.

ANDY BRECKMAN Writer, Late Night (1982-83), Saturday Night Live (1983-87); creator, Monk (2002-09): Stephen Winer and his partner, Karl, had a great influence on the show. They found Calvert DeForest [a k a Larry “Bud” Melman].

SANDRA FURTON Talent coordinator, Late Night (1982-89): Larry “Bud” Melman was an anomaly. He was a really genuinely great guy, who became like a mascot to the show. He was a very sweet person. I guess his naturalness in flubbing things up made it work.

KARL TIEDEMANN Writer, Late Night (1982-83) Consistently poor acting combined with an offbeat look. It didn’t occur to me years later, but do you know the name Maurice Gosfield? He was very much a Melman/DeForest type, and he became a kind of — before the term was used — cult figure. And he apparently had difficulty memorizing lines and getting out dialogue. That rang a bell with me.

STEPHEN WINER Writer, Late Night (1982-83): When Karl was at NYU, he was making a short film, “Life of the Party,” like an old Hal Roach two-reel comedy. When we were doing this thing, Calvert DeForest came at an open audition. There was nothing for him in the movie except background, but there was something about him that made us believe we could use this guy forever. We later made a film called “King of the ‘Z’s,” a parody documentary about the world’s cheapest movie studio of the ’40s and ’50s. The entire time we were writing it, Calvert’s face was always in my mind.

KARL TIEDEMANN: My then-partner and I always had a taste for the offbeat. We loved, as many people do, the whole Mystery Science Theater 3000 thing — just healthy badness. Mediocrity is very common. Really consistent incompetence, that’s a lot more rare. DeForest was worse than mediocrity, but he was a pleasant and amenable fellow.

STEPHEN WINER: When we had the job interview with Dave and Merrill, they were very complimentary of the film. During the course of that meeting, Merrill said, “We’re looking for somebody like that little guy in your movie for the show.” And I said, “That’s the guy you’re looking for. Trust me.” Calvert was in the very first episode. He cold-opened the show as Frankenstein, which was Merrill’s idea. It just took off. And I remember saying to Dave, “Wouldn’t it be funny if Calvert became a big star after this?” And Dave said, “Heh, heh. Sure.”

BARRY SAND: Some of the greatest shows that we ever had were with Larry “Bud” Melman, who always made mistakes. That was part of the fun. “What could go wrong?” And hopefully it would go wrong. You were always rooting for a good wrong thing to happen. Audiences love that. The non-predictability of the show, the imperfection of the show, was part of its charm.

This is an excerpt from Brian Abrams’ Amazon Kindle Single AND NOW…An Oral History of “Late Night with David Letterman,” 1982-1993.

Below, Larry “The Big Man” Melman in a typically insane 1980s Letterman appearance:

 
Thank you Jeff Newelt of New York City!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘South Park’ hilariously rips on today’s music in last night’s episode
10.09.2014
08:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animation
Television

Tags:
South Park


 
Here’s a little cut from last night’s South Park—episode 3 of season 18 titled “The Cissy”—where Randy shows his son Stan how it’s really done in the music world today.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker nail it as usual. Nail it.

 
h/t Peter Serafinowicz

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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