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.
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…)
Today 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)
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.
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.
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.http://www.veoh.com/videos/v6536590yywG9BjT