Tag: TV & Radio

Vintage VHS Commercial Bonanza, Part 1

Vintage VHS Commercial Bonanza, Part 1

Retrotisements
I finally got the urge to splurge on a new device -- the Ion Video 2 PC if you're curious -- to transfer my old VHS cassettes to digital format. So naturally the first thing I did was to hunt for old commercials so I could upload them to YouTube. Because screw old movies or sentimental stuff, right? This first batch has lasted for 30 years, believe it or not. They were recorded as part of a June 19/20, 1982 WABC-TV Channel 7 (New York) airing of the Frank Sinatra World War II classic, Von Ryan's Express. Included for your viewing pleasure are the classic late '70s/early '80s WABC Saturday Night Movie bumper and four spots from the first commercial break -- Acme Supermarket, Woolite, La Yogurt, and IHOP.
The Evolution of Batman

The Evolution of Batman

Featured Posts
Since his introduction in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), Batman has maintained a fairly consistent image. No doubt that's part of his timeless appeal. That and he kicks lots of ass. So with the release of The Dark Knight Rises nearly upon us, I figured now was as good a time as any to look back at the evolution of the Caped Crusader, as seen in his major media incarnations. For the sake of image size and my sanity I've not included every variation of Batman, but I think I've hit the most important and iconic ones. Here's a lower-res sample of the the full infographic: For the full-resolution version of this infographic, click HERE. You may need to right-click and open in a new tab/window if it doesn't display correctly. (If the Man of Steel is more your style, check out ...
Watching Glee has become reverse porn for me

Watching Glee has become reverse porn for me

TV & Radio
Yeah I watch Glee, so what? YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME! I've been a fan since the pilot episode, although I want to make it clear that I am not a Gleek. When those plucky New Directions kids busted out Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" at the end of that episode even a cynical bastard like me felt good about it. Those good feelings carried through for most of the first season and I enjoyed the show's mix of humor, darkness, and unabashedly hammy musical performances. But as the second season wore on, I found myself losing interest in the musical numbers. I'm not that big a Broadway fan to begin with, and my tolerance for movie musicals is only slightly higher. After awhile I just feel worn down by the over-the-top earnestness of Broadway music, and it all just feels so corny. So that's a pro...
Pop Culture Capsule — Superman through the Years

Pop Culture Capsule — Superman through the Years

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
Since his debut in 1938, Superman has become an American icon and has appeared in countless media adaptations. Well not countless, but a lot. More than I count. To show the evolution of Superman, here's a photo/image gallery representing how the Last Son of Krypton has appeared over the decades. Action Comics #1, June 1938 (art by Joe Shuster) Superman Fleischer Studios animated films (1941 - 1943) Superman, serial film starring Kirk Alyn (1948) Adventures of Superman, TV series starring George Reeves (1952 - 1958) Superman (Vol. 1) #99, August 1955 (art by Al Plastino) It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, Broadway musical starring Bob Holiday (1966) Super Friends, animated TV series (1973) Superman, film starring Christopher Reeve (1978) Lois &a...
Say hello to Elektro, the Westinghouse Robot

Say hello to Elektro, the Westinghouse Robot

History
He's all but forgotten today, but at one time Elektro was king of all robots. He was assembled by Westinghouse at their Mansfield, Ohio facility in 1937/38 and made his public debut at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Elektro stood at a height of seven feet, six inches and weighed 260 pounds. 60 of those pounds were his brain, which was comprised of "48 electrical relays." At the Westinghouse Pavilion of the World's Fair, Elektro the Moto-Man demonstrated a wide variety of skills such as speech, counting, stand-up comedy, and of course, smoking! Witness the marvels of modern 1930s technology in this excerpt from the 1939 promotional film The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair. "Stand aside puny human, as I enjoy the mild, refreshing tobacco flavor of Philip Morris!" ...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 2

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 2

Ephemera
You've had a few weeks to cool down after the intense action from reel 1 of the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl View-Master reel set, so let's get back to it! As we left off, Electra Woman was in the semi-competent clutches of the vicious Spider Lady and Deidre Hall was desperately trying to get her agent to return her calls. I won't keep you waiting any longer, so it's back into Spider Lady's lair for more vintage 1970s-style superhero action! #1 - Spider Lady's assistant threw the switch-- -- and instantly transported everyone into a cheap '60s color TV set! #2 - --and Spider Lady had become Lori's "twin"! You know, both of them seem rather nonplussed -- bored, even -- by the proceedings here. #3 - "I've duplicated your voice everything." Again, Electra Woman seems...
Sunday Jazz: The incredible Wes Montgomery

Sunday Jazz: The incredible Wes Montgomery

Music, Sunday Jazz
Man, all these Sunday Jazz pieces and not one about Wes Montgomery? Well that has to change now. Here's a great clip of Wes performing one of my favorite numbers, "Four On Six," from 1965. The film quality is superb and you can really see how he employed his unique thumb technique. Here he's backed by Rick Laird (bass), Stan Tracey (piano), and Jackie Dougan (drums). Enjoy! (Spotify users — you can listen to these and other featured Sunday Jazz songs by subscribing to my GFS Sunday Jazz playlist.) Related articles Sunday Jazz: Warren Wolf debuts on Mack Avenue (grayflannelsuit.net) Sunday Jazz: Star-spangled jazz (grayflannelsuit.net) Alternate realities - 'dreamsville' (jon4jaz.wordpress.com)
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 1

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 1

Ephemera, TV & Radio
Here's one of the more bizarre View-Master reel sets in my collection. It was issued to promote the short-lived live action series Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, which ran for just 16 episodes in 1976. It was one of the segments aired during the first season of The Krofft Supershow, which itself only lasted for two years. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl followed the adventures of two comely reporters for Newsmaker magazine -- Lori/Electra Woman (Deidre Hall) and Judy/Dyna Girl (Judy Strangis). Over the course of the series the pair battled an array of colorful villains like the Pharaoh, the Sorcerer, Glitter Rock, Ali Baba, Spider Lady, and the Empress of Evil. The segments seemed to be a none-too-subtle homage to the Batman TV show from the '60s, as you'll see in this clip of the opening the...