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Wait a minute, WHAT??? Liberal Dennis Kucinich joins Fox News!
01.16.2013
06:20 pm

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Media
Politics
Television

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This might sound like it’s one of those things to file under “When Pigs Fly” or “When Hell Freezes Over,” but believe it or not, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich will be joining Fox News and Fox Business as a paid contributor, it was announced today.

In a PR statement, the archly liberal Kucinich said:

“Through 16 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns, Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership. I look forward to a continuation of our relationship this time as a Fox News contributor.”

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes added:

“I’ve always been impressed with Rep. Kucinich’s fearlessness and thoughtfulness about important issues. His willingness to take a stand from his point of view makes him a valuable voice in our country’s debate.”

If you ask me, Dennis Kucinich will make an excellent contributor to Fox News. This was an unexpected, but tres savvy move on Ailes’ part. He knows Fox News is in free fall and at the very least, having a bona fide liberal like Dennis Kucinich around will elevate the conversation a bit. Have you seen Fox News lately? It’s getting pretty threadbare. I’m sure the people who work there are tired of seeing the same faces day in and day out. Will Sarah Palin or Dick Morris ever say anything meaningful? Of course they won’t and Roger Ailes must know this, too. He’s a lot of things, but dumb isn’t one of them.

Kucinich will make his Fox News debut Thursday on The O’Reilly Factor.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Singing Batman is minding his business, 1966
01.16.2013
12:12 pm

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Amusing
Pop Culture
Television

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TV Guide cover executed by Roy Lichtenstein.

This is kinda genius. Adam West, in character as Batman, sings the Nat King Cole standard “Orange Colored Sky” in an awkward production number on The Hollywood Palace TV program.

West was the guest host that evening and this was his big entrance. The episode also featured Ray Charles, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, George Carlin, and the sultry Joey Heatherton.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Holy Freak Out, Batman! Frank Zappa and ‘The Boy Wonder Sessions’
 

 
Thank you Steven Daly!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kate Bush: Splendid concert documentary from 1980
01.16.2013
10:46 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television
Unorthodox

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kbkbkbkbgtvgtvgtvkbkbkb
 
I’d never seen this rather splendid documentary on Kate Bush before. Made for German television in 1980, Kate Bush in Concert captures what was, and still is so irrepressible about the pioneering singer and performer, and explains the delightful (and naive) charm that caused so many young virginal fans to pine for her. Mixing live performance with an interview, in which we hear how Kate’s brothers’ taste in Prog Rock (Pink Fairies and Pink Floyd) and Folk Music that inspired her, and explaining the difference between her on-stage and off-stage persona.

‘When I perform, there’s just something that happens in me, it just takes over. It’s like suddenly feeling you’ve leapt into another structure, almost like another person, and you just do it. But when I’m not working, it’s me and I certainly wouldn’t dance around a table and sing.’

Och, well, there goes another wee fantasy of Ms Bush dancing and singing around a homely kitchen whilst baking fruit scones.
 

 
With thanks to John Kowalski
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Trekkie!
01.16.2013
09:55 am

Topics:
History
Race
Television

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Actress Nichelle Nichols tells the lovely story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to remain on Star Trek after she had decided to leave the series for Broadway:

I was going to leave “Star Trek,” and [creator] Gene Roddenberry says, “You can’t do that. Don’t you understand what I’m trying to achieve? Take the weekend and think about it.” He took the resignation and stuck it in his desk drawer….

As fate would have it, I was to be a celebrity guest at, I believe, it was an NAACP fundraiser in Beverly Hills. I had just been taken to the dais, when the organizer came over and said, “Ms. Nichols, there’s someone here who said he is your biggest fan and he really wants to meet you.”

I stand up and turn and I’m looking for a young “Star Trek” fan. Instead, is this face the world knows. I remember thinking, “Whoever that fan is, is going to have to wait because Dr. Martin Luther King, my leader, is walking toward me, with a beautiful smile on his face.” Then this man says “Yes, Ms. Nichols, I am that fan. I am your best fan, your greatest fan, and my family are your greatest fans…. We admire you greatly ….And the manner in which you’ve created this role has dignity….”

I said “Dr. King, thank you so much. I really am going to miss my co-stars.” He said, dead serious, “What are you talking about?” I said, “I’m leaving Star Trek,” He said, “You cannot. You cannot!”

I was taken aback. He said, “Don’t you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time on television we will be seen as we should be seen every day – as intelligent, quality, beautiful people who can sing, dance, but who can also go into space, who can be lawyers, who can be teachers, who can be professors, and yet you don’t see it on television – until now….”

I could say nothing, I just stood there realizing every word that he was saying was the truth. He said, “Gene Roddenberry has opened a door for the world to see us. If you leave, that door can be closed because, you see, your role is not a Black role, and it’s not a female role, he can fill it with anything, including an alien.”

At that moment, the world tilted for me. I knew then that I was something else and that the world was not the same. That’s all I could think of, everything that Dr. King had said:  The world sees us for the first time as we should be seen.

Come Monday morning, I went to Gene. He’s sitting behind that same dang desk. I told him what happened, and I said, “If you still want me to stay, I’ll stay. I have to.” He looked at me, and said, “God bless Dr. Martin Luther King, somebody knows where I am coming from.” I said, “That’s what he said.” And my life’s never been the same since, and I’ve never looked back. I never regretted it, because I understood the universe, that universal mind, had somehow put me there, and we have choices. Are we going to walk down this road or the other? It was the right road for me.

TV’s first interracial kiss—between Nichols and William Shatner—also occurred on Star Trek. America celebrates Martin Luther King Day on January 21.

Below, an excerpt from a much longer interview with Nichelle Nichols—who also toured with Duke Ellington as a vocalist—in the archive of The TV Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television, on YouTube
 

 
Via Media Post

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Time for Timer!’: Saturday morning cartoon PSAs from the 70s
01.15.2013
12:34 pm

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Animation
Pop Culture
Television

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Time for Timer was the overall title for a series of PSAs that ran on ABC in-between Saturday morning kids cartoons in the mid-70s. Timer was a yellow blob with a wristwatch, a top hat and a walking stick. Timer’s schtick was that he was telling kids about what time it was: Time for nutrition, time to brush your teeth, time for a recipe for making homemade juice popsicles, how to prevent lightheadedness by eating breakfast and the merits of cheese:

When my get-up-and-go has got up and went,
I hanker for a hunk o’ cheese!
When I’m dancin’ a hoedown and my boots kinda slow down,
Or anytime I’m weak in the knees,
I hanker for a hunk of,
A slab or slice or chunk of,
A snack a day’s a winner
And yet won’t spoil my dinner!
I hanker for a hunk o’ cheese!

If you are aged 35 and older, you probably remember these PSAs quite well. I confess to still remembering the words for several of Timer’s catchy little ditties and my memory is shit! The Time for Timer spots never really had the same cultural longevity or nostalgic appeal as the Schoolhouse Rock spots did. Certainly there has been no Time for Timer tribute CD with various indie rock bands singing his songs, but Timer and his advice to kids lives on, like everything else, on YouTube.

A bit o’ Timer trivia: The character made his debut on the 1973 ABC After-School Special episode called The Incredible, Indelible Magical, Physical Mystery Trip which starred Paris Hilton’s auntie and future “real housewife of Beverly Hills” mess, Kim Richards. Timer made a cameo appearance in an episode of Family Guy, playing himself as a crack smoker, hankering for a hunk of rock…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Zsa Zsa Gabor and the psychedelic land of dinosaurs: ‘Pookie? Pookie ver are yoo?’
01.15.2013
10:57 am

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Amusing
Pop Culture
Television

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image
 
Zsa Zsa Gabor walks through a magic mirror, a portal to a psychedelic prehistorical land complete with dinosaurs, looking for her little dog “Pookie” in a clip from Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. (Somehow THAT bit is easier to believe than her working in a thrift store…).

“Pookie! Pookie ver are yoo? Pookie? Pookie?”

The “Jurassic Park on acid” stuff starts at around 4:30.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
1969 was a good year for LSD: Can you speak Venusian?
01.10.2013
01:56 pm

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Amusing
Belief
Kooks
Television

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Here’s an excerpt from One Pair Of Eyes with astronomer Patrick Moore, where a gentleman demonstrates his amazing ability to speak three different space languages (yes, three!): Venusian, Kruger and Plutonian.

There’s nothing about this fellow’s rather cheerful demeanor that indicates he’s lying. He seems to genuinely believe he can speak three alien languages. I genuinely believe that he missed his calling as an auctioneer.

I love how interviewer Moore acts as if all of this is completely normal, asking with a totally straight face, “I see… Could we see some Plutonian writing, do you think?”

Reminds me of someone else I know...
 

 
Via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Blondie on Merv Griffin, 1980
01.10.2013
04:48 am

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Punk
Television

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Another great piece of rock history from The Merv Griffin Show. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein adapt to the role of talk show guests with the ease of the cool New Yorkers they are. And this cements Merv’s place in the Hipster Hall Of Fame. Totally.

It’s 1980 and Blondie has gone from Bowery punks to pop stars. You can tell Harry and Stein are struggling a bit with the whole fame thing.
 

 
Thanks Jim! 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Uncle Goddamn: The ‘Citizen Kane’ of white-trash torture home video
01.09.2013
02:06 pm

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Television

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Probably the less said about this one, the better.

(Runs away)

Another piece from my UK TV series, Disinformation, which aired as part of Channel 4’s “4Later” late-night programming block, in 2000 and 2001. What is now Syfy bought the show, pretty much from only watching a highlight reel as far as I could tell, but then totally freaked out when they saw the finished product that was already paid for... Oops!

I’m good like that.

Harmony Korine probably saw Uncle Goddamn before he did Trash Humpers. They’re both in the same, er, genre. Only one of them is real!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Lynchian test footage of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’
01.08.2013
03:40 pm

Topics:
Television

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Oh gawd, this late 80s behind-the-scenes test footage of the hair, makeup and wardrobe from Star Trek: The Next Generation just made my day!

Imagine the possibilites of adding your own soundtrack to this!?
 

 
Via Neatorama

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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