Posts Tagged ‘Television’

FLASHBACK – Yep: It’s Keith Olberman 22 Years Ago!

YOU Sir, are *rockin’* the porn ’stache!!! :{)

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LOCAL TV – I’ll Have What Fred Rated Was Having

If you aren’t an old school Southern Californian, the next sentence will mean nothing to you, but here goes. Fred Rated and I once celebrated our shared birthday together. I was working my night job at the time and he just happened to show up so we birthday bonded with each other for a few magical moments. Basically, he partied with his friends while I pretended not to be geeking out. If current tv commercials were half as creative as those old drug trip Federated spots, I wouldn’t fast forward through everything on my DVR.

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He now stays behind the scenes as the voice of the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, but decades ago our local airwaves were under attack by actor/radio dj Shadoe Stevens (Terry Ingstad) and his frenetic alter ego, a hyperactive electronics pitchman in a Miami Vice suit. From Stevens’ web site:

“In the 1980′s, Shadoe Stevens was retained to devise an advertising strategy and branding campaign for a 14 store electronics chain known as the Federated Group. He created and played a character named Fred Rated in a series of commercials that were a mix of Saturday Night Live and Monty Python. Over a period of six years, he and a small team of artists created over 1,200 different commercials.”

Now let’s read that again… IN SIX YEARS, SIX PEOPLE CREATED 1,200 FRED RATED COMMERCIALS. Chew on that for a second. (more…)

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MISC – Team Coco Takin’ It To The Streets

Oh we got trouble! Right here in Universal City! With a capital “T”! That rhymes with “C”! And that stands for… oh my God isn’t this ridiculous drama over yet?

wetforconan If you were driving along Lankershim today, you might’ve noticed some unusual traffic. Seems the “I’m With Coco” Facebook group organized a pro-Conan O’Brien rally over at Universal Gate 3 this afternoon and considering the *incredibly* crappy weather, it was more of a success than expected (even Conan himself got involved, see video below).

I’m sure the pro-Jay Leno crowd would’ve organized a rally too… except I hear Hoverounds don’t maneuver very well during flash floods. HEY-YO!!!

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FLASHBACK – Mark and Brian’s Mullets, circa 1991

For a playlist of the full parade, click here.
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KLOS morning show DJs Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps came West from Birmingham, Alabama in September 1987. Initially it was their endearing “fish out of water” shtick that really won over viewers… I actually remember laughing out loud while listening to their live Halloween morning broadcast from Bel Air,  as they yelled “trick or treat” into the estate intercoms while dressed as ax murderers. (Yes, police were called.) At the time, they were definitely a refreshing and welcomed change from their competition.

As L.A. became their home, the pair become progressively more “Hollywood” and upon receiving a 1991 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award as “Air Personalities of the Year,” Mark & Brian were clearly a hot commodity. So much so that ABC Television, hoping to find a West Coast Howard Stern Show on their hands, offered to broadcast “Mark and Brian’s Day Before Thanksgiving Parade” for their fans.

The video above was taped eighteen years ago on November 27, 1991. In what is perhaps not a surprise move in retrospect, ABC chose not to make the parade an annual television event. Personally, I blame that electric blue jacket combo. Just… wow.

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FLASHBACK – Philnjims. Philnjims. Philnjims.

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Phil & Jim’s TV & Appliance unexpectedly went kaput in 1994.

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MATINEE – How Doogie Met the Los Angeles Riots

doogieandrodneyToday we’ll return to a time that was a bit less idyllic. On April 29, 1992, violence erupted in our city and the life of every resident was affected… as shown below, it even took a toll on the life of the average American pubescent doctor. Today we will relive the night of April 29, 1992 as we watch erudite teen/medical prodigy Doogie Howser, his wacky sidekick Vinnie and the caring staff of a strangely nameless local hospital cope with the aftermath of the L.A. Riots. Can’t we all just get along?

(Original Airdate: September 23, 1992)

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HATING LA – via Futurama

As we’ve established, Los Angeles – like all cities – does have good and bad points. That said, it’s simply in every resident and visitor’s best interest to learn how to handle themselves properly. In my grandmother’s generation, it was common Angeleno knowledge that the very best way to divert the ravenous, wandering packs of gun-toting pre-teens that wander like gypsies through our city (see clip above) was just to tell them to sit down while you go and make them a sandwich and then head for cover as they impatiently waited to be served. But times have changed and so have ten year olds.

According to our sources, in 2009 a better technique is to carry a book – any book – with you in case the gang is female. When the rabid little girl gang approaches, hide the cover of the book from them and pretend to be reading. Suddenly scream out “OMIGOD! I CAN’T BELIEVE I GOT THIS UNRELEASED TWILIGHT BOOK BEFORE EVERYBODY ELSE!” and in your excitement, throw the book skyward INTO THE OTHER DIRECTION. Run. Do not look back. You do not want to see what armed little girls will do to each other to get that book.

If the gang is all boys, the sandwich thing still works like gold. For a mixed group, sandwiches and books, in that order. Be safe out there, Los Angeles.

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FLASHBACK – The Los Angeles Mod Scene

YouTube Preview Image “CLEAN LIVING UNDER VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES”

Here’s today’s fun little flashback: a local news report on the California mod scene of the 1980s. Ahhh, Chuck Henry and Johnny Mountain were so hep.

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MATINEE – The LSD Story

The sixties were a kerrraaaaayzeee time… the hippies were taking over with their crazy druggie ways and there was no way dedicated Sargeant Joe Friday, lover of Los Angeles, was going to let that happen to the youth of His City without a fight. The LSD Story was the first episode of the 1967 season of Dragnet, and it’s more than a little ironic that it was the first episode they filmed in glorious technicolor.

Note: The address given for the vacant lot where Blue Boy saw the pilot light of creation and reality was here.

(more…)

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MATINEE – Clampetts Strike Black Gold

Every once in a while I’m going to post silly-SoCal-themed videos/cartoons that strike my fancy, just because I’m wacky that way. In today’s “Flashback Matinee” we’re celebrating the moment ol’ Jed Clampett loaded up the truck and moved to Bever-lee. Mind you, a big part of me wishes he would’ve stayed put in the hills he loved and kept on hunting possum… if only because maybe then Jethro wouldn’t have ended up putting this kinda crap together. But nephew aside, Jed Clampett was salt of the Earth and we were lucky to have him living within our city limits. And the funny thing is, in reality I think he just moved to the wrong neighborhood… if he’d just located the family just a smidgen more north and found a place in one of the canyons, he could’ve happily spent his days shooting all the possum he wanted. Ellie Mae would’ve had all sorts of baby deer and such to adopt and I’m sure there would’ve been some good hiding spots for Granny’s still. Hell, she could’ve opened up a nice little hidden prohibition-style speakeasy up there. People would’ve flocked to it.

So all of that said, in tribute to Jed and ol’ Granny I’m now going to call it a day and go take a dip in my ce-ment pond. Later, Los Anguleez.

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EDITORIAL – Why People Hate LA

REASON 493: LOS ANGELES WILL EAT YOUR DREAMS FOR BREAKFAST
YouTube Preview Image 26 year-old Greg Insco‘s website begins, “The people that are crazy enough to change the world… DO.” Greg’s dream of changing the world? To be a contestant on Survivor. And knowing there was overwhelming competition to be noticed, Greg worked on a master plan… to walk directly from Cincinnati to the Survivor auditions being held at CBS in Santa Monica, more than 2,200 miles. The idea to make the journey on foot and hand deliver the tape first came from his best friend, Megan, who died more than two years ago. So as a tribute to her and his Tribal Council aspirations, he started his walk on April 9th youtubing and twittering the whole way. He arrived on Saturday. Along the way he didn’t lose faith… he was going to change the world and go to cast parties with Rudy Bosch come hell or painful blisters. He was going to follow the American dream and work hard… to get on a reality show.

Well, Greg made it to the auditions… (more…)

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TV – Man Versus LA Food

The Food Network’s travel show Man Versus Food follows actor and food enthusiast Adam Richman as he explores the “big food” of different American cities and enters a long-standing eating challenge at a local restaurant.

In February, Adam brought the show to Los Angeles. If you’d like to try his local menu for yourself, here it is:

Where: El Tepeyac Café
Where: 812 N Evergreen Ave, East LA (323) 267-8668
What to order: The five-pound Manuel’s Special, designed to feed two to four people. He also ordered a machaca burrito, which is shredded beef with egg. Having grown up in San Diego, I just prefer to call this “breakfast.”

Where: Phillipe’s French Dip
Where: 1001 N Alameda Street, Downtown (213) 628-3781
What to order: He tried all of the French dips and rated them in order of his favor: 1. Beef; 2. Lamb; 3. Pork; 4. Turkey. (I concur with his results.)
Tip: Eating aside, I would also recommend walking around the corner to the back dining room and checking out the walls. Philippes used to have a strong tie to the local union of circus performers and there’s still some vintage circus memorabilia gracing the walls if you look to your left. Model trains, too!

THE FOOD CHALLENGE
Where: Orochon Ramen
Where: 123 Onizuka Street Little Tokyo (213) 617-1766‎
What to order: The “Spicy Ramen Challenge”… basically, any person who can finish the serving of Special No. 2, a spicy soup featuring 10 kinds of chiles, is awarded a place on the Wall of Bravery. He finished. Will you?

Full episode of “Man Versus Food” is viewable after the jump. (more…)

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FOCUS – See Cal Profit

Cal Worthington and his dogg SnoopCalvin Coolidge “Cal” Worthington was a bad ass. I mean, we’re talking about a man who braved Southern California heatwaves wearing a polyester cowboy leisure suit. For decades, he stood on top of biplanes in midair, rode charging hippos and wrassled bears and tigers. Just to get you to go see him. And it all paid off… a profile in the Sacramento Bee (published in 1990) stated that ol’ Cal grossed $316.8 million in 1988. Okay, now add inflation. That’s a lot of Fords, my friend.

Cal was one of the very first car dealers to appear in their own TV ads as a wacky character, promising if he couldn’t give you the best price that he would stand on his head or eat a bug. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any youtube videos of Cal eating bugs so I’m unsure if he ever actually ate any. But he did an awful lot of other stunts for rolling cameras, as evidenced below. (Turn your speakers down if you don’t want to be humming his theme song all day.)

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From the first link:

Mr. Worthington came to Southern California in 1948 after a much-decorated military career piloting B-17 Flying Fortresses on 29 combat missions over Germany. He made enough selling used cars to start trading in war surplus. That’s what brought him to California, where it took him nearly two years to sell a ship full of corroded welding equipment he’d bought. He cleared $13,000, which was enough to buy a Muntz dealership.

Mr. Worthington became an early believer in the power of television advertising. Rather than buy ad spots, he produced entire programs. Every Saturday and Sunday night, he was host of a three-hour variety show broadcast live on a Los Angeles station from Cal’s Corral at his dealership. The show featured a who’s who of country music stars, including Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and Roger Miller. The rising cost of television time eventually forced Mr. Worthington to focus on shorter ads in which he praised specific cars on his lot while wearing a 10-gallon hat and a garish western suit from Nudie Cohn, the rodeo tailor.

One day a rival dealer appeared in commercials with his dog, named Storm. As a joke, Mr. Worthington started countering with ads featuring “my dog Spot.”

“Only Spot was never a dog,” he said with an infectious, off-kilter grin. “It was always a chicken, or a possum, or a duck or something. But it was never a dog.”

Over the years it became a signature gimmick. Mr. Worthington appeared with a zoo’s worth of creatures, including a lion, an elephant, a water buffalo, a gorilla, a tiger, a rhinoceros, assorted snakes and even a killer whale (which he rode) at Sea World.

Mr. Worthington, whose formal education ended with the ninth grade, said he had only one occasion to rue his lack of schooling. “I wanted to be an airline pilot after World War II, but the airlines wouldn’t take you unless you had a college degree,” he said.

Cal is 88 years old now and his son voices most of his current commercials. In addition to automobile dealerships, it’s said that the Worthington family owns ten ranches as well as three shopping centers and one office tower, grossing $600 million a year.

So really… there’s a big life lesson in this, people. Especially during hard economic times like these, if you really want to succeed in life sometimes you’ve just gotta just quit whining, take a deep breath, get up some courage and do something crazy to get yourself noticed. It might just pay off. Bug eating and bear wrestling (or trying out for a reality show, for that matter) isn’t original anymore so you may need to get a little more creative, though. Be a bad ass.

When the going gets tough, just think to yourself… WWCWD?

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