The Simpsons

I could write pages on this show but I’ll keep it short.

I’ve covered a lot of cartoons but this one is special. This Simpsons is probably my favorite of all time. It has influenced countless TV shows. This show appealed to young and older audiences alike.

The Simpsons was created by Matt Groening, who thought of the idea for the Simpsons in the lobby of James L. Brooks’s office. He named the characters after his own family members, substituting “Bart” for his own name. The family debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. In 1989, the shorts were spun off into the series The Simpsons which debuted on December 17, 1989.

The family members’ animated bodies have changed shape a bit since, but they have not aged much, aside from shows that looked into characters’ futures. In fact, most people would agree that Matt Groening’s goofy humor hasn’t gotten old either.

The town of Springfield has a cast of characters that really made the show. You get to know them weekly from Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Disco Stu, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Moe Szyslak, Marge, Lisa, and the list goes on.

Other shows such as Family Guy, American Dad, and South Park were influenced by The Simpsons but they are cruder and use more shock value. Nothing wrong with that but I always thought the Simpsons was more clever. The two cartoons that I have really liked since the Simpsons started are King of the Hill and Futurama, the later also created by Groening.

In the early stages, the show revolved around the young Bart Simpson’s trouble-causing antics, making it appeal to a younger crowd. Over the years, however, the writers, which have included Conan O’Brien, found viewers responded more to the father figure Homer Simpson, and he became the show’s main character.

In 2007, the family finally made its way to theaters in the Simpsons Movie.

The Simpsons have ran for 31 seasons and nearly 700 episodes (676 as of this writing). The show is the longest-running scripted series in TV history.

A few of the Catchphrases that have worked into our everyday life.

Don’t Have a Cow, Man

Eat My Shorts

Mmm, donuts

Release The Hounds

Hidely Ho…Okily Dokily

D’oh!

Woo Hoo!

Eeeeeeexcellent

Where is…Captain Kirk’s original Command Chair?

You know…who wouldn’t like Captain Kirk’s original command chair in their living room? Ok…some people would not like it but I have wondered where it is now. Many people build replicas of the chair but I want to know where the real one is. The real McCoy…pardon the pun.

The original owner picked up the chair and accompanying set pieces in 1969 after he received a call from a friend at Paramount Pictures, who alerted him to the fact that the entire Star Trek set was being scrapped and that, if he was interested, he was welcome to get whatever items he wanted before they were thrown away… I’m not sure where he stored it but I found where it was sold in 2002 for $265,000.

The late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen then bought the chair for a reported $305,000 in 2009. He also developed The Museum of Pop Culture or MoPOP in Seattle and that is where the chair is right now!

The chair is probably one of the most recognized chairs in the world.

Captain Kirk’s chair was built around the black Naugahyde cushioning and slim walnut arms of a model No. 2405 or No. 4449 armchair produced by Madison Furniture Industries of Canton, Miss., between 1962 and 1968. The industrial designer Arthur Umanoff conceived the chair as part of an attempt to replicate the Danish modern look which was popular in the early sixties.

The Museum of Pop Culture or MoPoP exhibits   

This is a link to the current museum…they have exhibits on the music of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Pearl Jam. It looks like a cool place. Have any of you visited this museum?

https://www.mopop.org/exhibitions-plus-events/

Displayed at The Museum of Pop Culture

Tales From The Darkside TV Series

In the eighties, I would watch this as much as possible. It was a good Twilight Zone type show that had some hits and misses but even when it missed it could be creepy. The show combined horror, science fiction, and comedy. The series was made in the 1980s and boy can you tell! The music, the sets, and the hair.

Each episode of this TV series depicts a short, strange tale…with a twist! With eerie stories that were most of the time smartly written. The usual plot formula is comprised of an initial normal, mundane situation that gradually begins to get off-kilter, with suspense building up to the final, chilling, surprise conclusion.

Some episodes are gruesome, a few are of a lighter comedic style. Like many such shows, they were adapted from the work of famous genre authors of the period such as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. Many episodes also featured veteran actors of the 40’s and 50’s.

The show ran from 1983 to 1988 and had a total of 90 episodes.

So…listen very carefully… get some popcorn, put some 80’s acid-washed jeans on, and binge watch this show at night time to make the atmosphere a little creepier.

Thanks to Lisa for recommending this show!

Batman 1966 – 1968

Cool hideout, Cool theme, Cool uniforms, Hot Batgirl and the Coolest car. The Batman TV series ran from 1966-1968 with 120 episodes. This was a fun campy show…not a dark drama searching for the reasons why Batman is a vigilante.

I was in the generation after this aired but I loved watching the reruns. Back in the mid-seventies, I was 8 and under the impression that Batman, Gilligans Island, and The Monkees were still making these fun shows. Batman was so colorful and expressive with it’s POW, BOOM, ZAP comic book play. The campiness played great in this show.

Adam West played the campy Batman perfectly and his ward…Burt Ward was just as good with his part. One of the great things about Batman was the villains. Cesar Romero did a great Joker. He may be my favorite Joker.  Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Frank Gorshin as the Riddler was also perfectly cast. I always liked Catwoman played by Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt. Last but certainly not least Bat Girl played by Yvonne Craig.

Lee Meriwether acted as Catwoman in the movie. Yes, there was a movie that they made in 1966! Like the series, it’s just as fun! It has the infamous bat-shark repellent in the movie.

The Batmobile! I loved that car. It started life as a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. George Barris did his magic and turned it into what we now know as the Batmobile. My personal favorite of all the Batman cars.

The cool theme song was composed by Neal Hefti.

I want to thank blainerestaurantreport for suggesting Batman to write about… He also told me that Burt Ward got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…naturally beside Adam West. Congrats Burt!

Image result for burt ward star ceremonyImage result for batman zap pow bam

 

Image result for 1966 batmobile

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Image result for Yvonne Craig hotImage result for catwoman 1966 hot

Image result for Eartha Kitt catwomanImage result for joker 1966

Image result for penguin 1966Image result for the riddler 1966

 

 

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Circle Of Fear

This anthology supernatural series ran from 1972-1973. Like most of these types of series, it flowed from the original Twilight Zone. It wasn’t as smart (hardly anything is) but it was entertaining. It involved satanic cults, ghosts, killer dogs, twin turmoil, and so much more. And while some of the stories come off as simplistic (most really don’t have a twist), they all have something to offer… an intriguing plot or an interesting performance. It’s as I said, a solid batch of stories.

It was originally called “Ghost Story” and Winston Essex (Sebastian Cabot) opened each episode by taking the audience into his spooky old mansion and introducing the plot, which could range from a vampire preying on college students to a ghost haunting a house to an old man using voodoo against his own family. On January 5, 1973, the series changed its title to “Circle of Fear“, the Essex character was no longer part of the show, and the stories didn’t always feature supernatural themes.

It’s been sadly forgotten…if you like the supernatural it’s worth a watch.

 

Battle of the Network Stars

This curiosity was born in the seventies. It was when TV stars were connected with their home network. ABC, CBS, and NBC would all send stars to compete with each other.  I will admit it was fun to watch. You would see Telly Savalas, Lynda Carter, Kristy McNichol (remember her?)  compete with each other with no other than Howard Cossell announcing.

Regular events included swimming, kayaking, volleyball, golf, tennis, bowling (on custom-made outdoor lanes), cycling, 3-on-3 football, the baseball dunk, running, and the obstacle course. As a pre-teen boy, I still remember Kristy McNichol was great on the obstacle course.

TV now is so fragmented that it would not work. They did try to bring it back in 2017 but it wasn’t the same and fewer viewers viewed with every episode. The networks didn’t want to share their actors with rivals. All of the contestants were from the Disney owned networks or older casts from long ago shows.

The original show ran from 1976 to 1988… Some of the Contestants are below the video.

 

Some of the Contestants

Howard Cosell
Gabe Kaplan
Darleen Carr
Lynda Carter
Farrah Fawcett
Richard Hatch
Robert Hegyes
Ron Howard
Hal Linden
Penny Marshall
John Schuck
Telly Savalas
Adrienne Barbeau
Gary Burghoff
Kevin Dobson
Pat Harrington Jr.
Bill Macy
Lee Meriwether
Mackenzie Phillips
Loretta Swit
Jimmie Walker
Robert Conrad
Melissa Sue Anderson
Karen Grassle
Tim Matheson
Ben Murphy
Barbara Parkins
Joanna Pettet
Kevin Tighe
Demond Wilson
Mark Spitz
Peter Lawford
Lona Barrett
Caitlyn Jenner
Bob Rosburg
Reggie Jackson
Nadia Comaneci
Joyce Brothers
Robert Stack
Roosevelt Grier
Howard W. Koch

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966

You’re a mean one…Mr. Grinch.

The cartoon was released in 1966 and has been shown every year since. This one along with Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and a few more were a part of Christmas. These specials would prime you for the big day.

One cool thing about the cartoon was that Boris Karloff was the narrator. Thurl Ravenscroft (voice of Tony the Tiger) sang the great song “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch. ”

The citizens of Whoville looked and acted like the others of Dr. Suess’s universe. They were all getting ready for Christmas while a certain someone…or thing looked down from Mt. Crumpit. The Grinch has hated Christmas for years and sees the Whovillians getting ready for Christmas and is determined once and for all to put an end to it.

He dresses up as Santa Clause and makes his poor dog Max act as a reindeer to swoop down and steal Christmas. The Grinch sleds down the hill almost killing Max and they soon reach Whoville. He is busted by one kid…Cindy Lou Who, who asks him questions as the Grinch took her family tree. He lies to her and sends her to bed.

In the morning after he has everything including “The Roast Beast,” he listens for the sorrow to begin.

You need to watch the rest or rewatch…

A live-action remake came out in 2000 but I still like this one the best. You cannot replicate Boris Karloff.

The Budget – Coming in at over $300,000, or $2.2 million in today’s dollars, the special’s budget was unheard of at the time for a 26-minute cartoon adaptation. For comparison’s sake, A Charlie Brown Christmas’s budget was reported as $96,000, or roughly $722,000 today (and this was after production had gone $20,000 over the original budget).

You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch The famous voice actor and singer, best known for providing the voice of Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, wasn’t recognized for his work in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Because of this, most viewers wrongly assumed that the narrator of the special, Boris Karloff, also sang the piece in question. Upset by this oversight, Geisel personally apologized to Ravenscroft and vowed to make amends. Geisel went on to pen a letter, urging all the major columnists that he knew to help him rectify the mistake by issuing a notice of correction in their publications.

Mr Grinch

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel
You’re as cuddly as a cactus
You’re as charming as an eel
Mr. Grinch
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel
You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch
Your heart’s an empty hole
Your brain is full of spiders
You’ve got garlic in your soul, Mr Grinch
I wouldn’t touch you with a
Thirty-nine and a half foot pole

You’re a vile one, Mr. Grinch
You have termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile
Mr Grinch
Given the choice between the two of you
I’d take the seasick crocodile

You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You’re a nasty wasty skunk
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk
Mr Grinch

The three best words that best describe you
Are as follows, and I quote”
Stink
Stank
Stunk

You’re a rotter Mr Grinch
You’re the king of sinful sots
Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots
Mr Grinch

Your soul is an appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable
Mangled up in tangled up knots

You nauseate me, Mr Grinch
With a nauseous super nos
You’re a crooked jerky jockey and
You drive a crooked horse
Mr Grinch

You’re a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich
With arsenic sauce

 

 

 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/72593/13-spirited-facts-about-how-grinch-stole-christmas