Friday, June 20, 2008

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 06/20/08

- - and so back to Boise. I've landed once again, after much touring and some truly great visits with friends and family.

Since this time last week, Seattle rocked again, as did Portland, 'cuz Portland Rocks.

For the next couple of weeks, 'Back in Boise' will be all about packing and boxing up and storing in preparation for moving.
Not quite hauling yet, as I still don't know where I'm hauling to...

...but the archives are embarrasingly vast, and getting everything prepped and secure will be a major ongoing chore.

Boxes and tape and sharpies and heavy lifting! Oh Boy!

1. Speaking of which, looks like among the first wave of packing will be all the little tchotchkes, the 'dork decor', the tableau - -

- - Basically the outer layer of crap arranged 'just so' around all the other crap.

As I start lovingly boxing up all that essential effluvia, my mind always turns to all the old cartoons that warped me a bit when I saw them as a kid, the ones where things on the shelves come alive at night. You know the ones.

Lo, and behold, a link at STWALLSKULL led directly to one of them archived at GoogleVideo.

A classic! From 1936, one of Harman-Ising's
'Happy Harmonies' cartoons, 'Bottles'... ▼

Still great (and creepy) after all these years.
My appetite whetted, I searched some more and found all 3 of the crazy 'Three Little Monkeys' cartoons at YouTube:

(Follow links to view in a new window)

- 1935's "Good Little Monkeys"
- 1938's "Pipe Dreams" (Wow!)
- 1939's "Art Gallery"

- And finally, leave it to Warner Brothers to so perfectly lampoon a genre they'd helped to create! Here's a link to one of the best; From 1946, "Book Review", with special appearance by Daffy Duck as Danny Kaye. ▶


2. We got letters. I had a very nice note from PhillyRadioGeek, who's been checking out ILTS for about 3 months.

In reference to the Miyoshi Umeki piece I posted after her death last September, he's sent along a link to a Bill Bixby Tribute, posted at his site, Me And You And A Blog Name Boo.

(It's the 'Courtship of Eddie's Father' connection - - got it?)

While visiting, you should also check out his Incredible Hulk and Hulkapalooza posts, for lotsa links to all things large, green, and
Gamma-ray irradiated.

- - And speaking of Bixby, don't miss the grainy-as-hell but still fascinating video clip of
'Mr. Rogers Neighborhood visits the set of The Incredible Hulk'! Thanks Philly!

3. Thanks too to Joe Sixpack for sending along the link to the 'Greetings From Joe Cocker' videoclip below, ▼ providing a translation to his historic Woodstock performance, entirely in the same vein as the previously posted Carmina Burana 'translation'.

4. Also this week via STWALLSKULL came a link to a post at Illutration Art about the work of Paul Coker, Jr., an artist who's work from the 1960's and '70's is familiar to many who grew up with MAD magazine, watched any Rankin-Bass Xmas Specials, or who have ever received greeting cards.

5. Yet even still more upcoming (US-Region 1) DVD releases that have got me excited, as does pretending I'll find time to enjoy them all.
Nevertheless, in the coming months I'm likely to be looking for some of these:

- TV Shows on DVD.Com has some initial information on 'best of ' editions of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour coming to disc at last, via Time-Life.

Should be some great musical guest appearances and other stuff from this late-60's show.

As is their wont, the Brothers Smothers are planning to begin with material from Season 3 ('68-'69) and then work backward.

- Yes, I'm still a sucker for all things Apatow, and I still hold a soft spot for the TV show 'Freaks and Geeks'.

Increased success of that show's creators and its cast have likely led to Shout! Factory's decision to make the previously limited Freaks and Geeks - Yearbook Edition DVD set available again.

2 extra discs of extra material beyond the regular box set, packaged in a cool and detailed high-school-style 'yearbook' full of photos and notes and other junk for the truly devoted geek.

(It's the version I sought out years ago. No regrets!)

- TV Shows on DVD.Com also reports on an upcoming Space Angel Collection.

From 1962 - '64, Space Angel was a memorable-if-mediocre animated TV series. A sci-fi adventure that boaste the same static look and disturbing Synchro-Vox 'lip-synch' technique used previously in Clutch Cargo cartoons.

One extra thing that Space Angel had going for it was character designs and artwork by comics / animation artist Alex Toth.

See also: Alex Toth created a 6-page Space Angel comic strip for the April 1963 issue of Jack and Jill.

Follow the link! (Via Socktopi)

- More more more in ongoing series of boxsets from Warner Home Video...

More singing and dancing in a particularly mannered manner to be found in The Busby Berkeley Collection,
Vol. 2
, slated to include 'Gold Diggers of 1937', 'Gold Diggers in Paris', 'Hollywood Hotel' and 'Varsity Show'.

Lots of Dick Powell, plenty of vintage cheesecake in luscious black & white, and not nearly enough
Joan Blondell...

... Meanwhile, another feast of the brilliant
Edward G. Robinson with a side order of Bogart coming up in the Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4, which will include 'The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse', 'The Little Giant', 'Larceny, Inc'., 'Invisible Stripes' and 'Kid Galahad'.

The inclusion of some of the Warner Studios' more comedic gangster flicks suits me just fine, especially in the case of 'Larceny, Inc.' from 1942.

Great fun in a caper comedy, one that would seem to be the direct inspiration for
Woody Allen's 'Small Time Crooks', though Woody apparently hasn't acknowledged it as such.

Edward G. is great as usual, with great turns by Broderick Crawford, a perfectly-utilized
Jack Carson, and a young Anthony Quinn.

Watch out too for a small role played by a twenty-something Jackie Gleason.

(The film title image above ▲ comes from SHillpage's always engaging Movie Title Screens Page.)

1 comment:

Phillyradiogeek said...

Wow, I've been called a lot of things in my life, but I've never been called a Reason to Be Cheerful before! Thanks so much!

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