Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Movies, TV, Toons & More !

And so, here we are again. Be patient and do not worry - Christmas comes in just a few days (and for those hum buggers, Christmas comes just once a year, relax). For those filled with joy - Alleluia! The holiday is celebrated in many different ways - my favorite is a Catholic tradition, which feels compelled to spread it out over 8 days, the Octave of Christmas. Oddly enough, the 25th day of Decemeber, the day chosen on around 337 AD to celebrate Christmas was picked in an attempt to get rid of a Pagan holiday celebrting the Sun God, Mithras. Since I suspect 99.9% of you had any clue about this, so...i can safely say - they were successful! But - what a lovely holiday it has become, a day to celebrate God coming to be with us. Immanuel or Emmanuel is really 2 Hebrew words [ עִמָּנוּאֵל }, meaning God is with us. So relax, and get ready to rejoice.

Rest assured, we do not have any creepy political and commercial type of ads for the season, I believe we have been blessed with enough of those already from all the challenged Presidential challengers. Here's some fun videos for the holiday season. Some are sweet, some are poignant, but most are pretty light and silly.

1) Dragnet - Big Little Jesus. It's Christmas Eve, and Sgt. Joe Friday is under major pressure, because he has to solve a difficult case in less than 24 hours. It seems someone has stolen the baby Jesus statue from Father Rojas' Catholic church. Excellent TV viewing, back in the day (1953) when no one cared if you mentioned Jesus' name on a TV show.

2) Santa Claus Conquers the Martians - check out Frank Random's preview.

3) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Killer 1944 Fleischer cartoon of the oddball cervine with the halogen proboscis.

4) Beverly Hillbillies - Home for Christmas Granny takes her first plane ride. She thinks it is a bus, going real fast on takeoff. Pre homeland security airplane fun. Flying back then was actually really fun.

5) One Step Beyond Ordeal on Locust Street Sorry no details, I don't want to spoil the fun.

6) Caste in Bronze a band with a carillon plays Christmas bells live onstage. This is really cool. Feel pity for the roadies.

7) Jack Frost - just a cool cartoon, perfect if it is freezing cold outside.

8) Short History of Christmas Learn why the date December 25th was selected for the date we celebrate Jesus' birthday.

9) The Shanty where Santa Claus Lives Another charming early Fleischer animation.

10) Christmas at the Clampetts Another hilarious Christmas special at the Clampett's Beverly Hills mansion.

Ok - how could leave out, Larry K, who played the hammer dulcimer live in our studio, Little King, in Christmas up north, or for all of us Linux Geeks, check out Peeking Penguins, where Tux makes his film debut. The debate was heated folks, but those were the top 10 for this year. Got more free Christmas videos too if you like. Merry Christmas! Watch all these online videos free.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Watch the Office

Like most corporations, LikeTelevision's corporate office is kinda weird and funky. Doesn't every office have the inept boss who is living proof of the Peter Principle? and the young cute girls like Pam who make the day to day grind easier to bear... and on and on. Well, ok - none of that applies to LikeTelevision, except maybe the inept manager stuff, but i digress. Of all the current shows on TV today, my favorite is The Office. Would you like to watch an episode right here and right now. Ok. Here you go. This full episode is called Money and comes to you via Hula, which is still in private beta - and only for US users. (if you are from out of town, please send us an email- I am curious to see how it plays in London or Deli or Munich or Prague. I think it will still work outside of the USA, despite the warnings. Please advise, tee hee).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Baseball - Say it Ain't So

On Monday, about the same time as Evel Knievel was getting his eulogy read at his funeral, a car pulled in front of me while I was riding my motorcycle. I did my best to get out of the way - no to be, as it came at me way to fast to veer left or right. Next move... brake like crazy, trying to slow down the bike speed from 45 mph to about 25. Ok... but this was still not enough, so i had to lay it down as we say. Thank goodness i had on a leather jacket as this kept a large part of my body from becoming a huge scab. And then - the guy sees me - so what does he do? Why, he slams on the brakes of course. So - WHAM !!! I got to slam into his car. Next thing I remember was waking up in the ambulance, attempting to answer a bunch of questions that for the most part seemed rhetorical. And here it is, 4 days later and it still feels like somebody beat me senseless with a baseball bat. So please, if you are so inclined, I'd really appreciate your prayers and kind thoughts while I do my best to recover. ouch! And by all means - be careful out there and look out for my brothers on motorcycles. Thanks.

Meanwhile, it seems Baseball itself got hit with a huge baseball bat yesterday as the report on steroids seemed to say that the entire sport was as dirty as a crooked boxing match. All the greats and hereos of this day were on drugs to enhance performance. As a kid who lived and breathed baseball - the news was not unexpected, but it still floored me. A part of me wished that they would do what they used to do back in the day - Throw out the bums. Another part of me was thankful that such decisions were out of my hands and that baseball had drifted from being as important as it once was. Needless to say - it was a really sad day for the sport, and my heart goes out to all the fans, especially the kids. If you wanna see some great baseball from back in the day - you've come to the right place. My top pick is The Jackie Robinson Story - but you can also check out some other great baseball videos here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jethro Bodine's 70th Birthday

On Dec 4, 1937 Max Baer jr. was born in Oakland, California to the former heavyweight boxing champ, Max Baer (see the June 3, 2005 entry for an interesting take on the real Cinderella Man History or check out this article defending Max Baer Sr.).

Anyway - if my ciphering is correct, I think that would make Jethro Bodine, um I mean Max Baer Jr., 70 years old today. Here's a few classic episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies to watch to honor Mr. Baer on his 70th birthday. First - Jethro Goes to School is a classic, where Jetrhro tries to continue his education by matriculating into the 3rd or 4th grade in swanky Beverly Hills (that's where he last graduated his schoolin' career). Another personal favorite is The Clampetts Meet the Dodgers, guesting starring Leo the Lip Durocher. Looks like Jethro might become a major league pitcher, until that possum fat doctoring comes into play. (somehow, this is less disturbing than steriods, but I digress). And our third selection is Clampetts Get Culture, which is a Christmas special episode and features an old flame of Max Baer's in the real world, Sharon Tate - who had a recurring role in the Beverly Hillbillies Tv Show as Janet Trego. Unfortunately, Sharon Tate is probably most famous for the tragic night she was murdered by the Charlie Manson whackos. A beautiful and talented actress, Sharon Tate was also carrying a child - Roman Polanski 's child, best known for his very creepie movie Rosemary's Baby starring Mia Farrow and produced by none other than William Castle, the king of the gimmick horror films. Small world or what?

Now for all those folks who think they are so smart, and that Max Baer is an idiot - well think again. He not only did very well for himself in the very popular Beverly Hillbillies series, Max was also a very shrewd business man, who until recently had the best returning movie of all-time. Yep, before the Blair Witch project, Jethro held the record for the least in, most out ratio of US dollars. The 1974 film was called Macon County Line, cost $110,000 to make and made over $25 million at the box office. He also started a trend of buying the movie rights for a hit song and making a movie out of it. The first film in the genre was Bobbi Gentry's Ode to Billy Joe and starred Robby Benson and Glynnis O'Connor. Since then, this idea has been a pretty successful formula for making a pretty safe profit in the risky business of making movies.

And let's not forget - I suspect Max Baer will really hit pay dirt with his very good business move to build a theme based casino, something he has been trying to do for many years, only to be bullied by "city hall" time and time again. But this time around, I suspect he might finally get his fair stake in the claim. Read all about it at Max Baer jr.s web site - Jethro's Casino, and by all means, write a letter in support of the project. This thursday, Dec 6, 2007 - we will find out if the derrick at the casino gets approved. Hey, what can say - I love this crazy country and all the characters in it, and certainly Max Baer is an entertaining character. And if you think he's just some bozo hick, ummm that the character he played on a tv show about 40 years years ago. Maybe you need to go school, duh.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Evel Knievel Makes Last Jump

On Friday November 30, 2007 Evel Knievel died in his Clearwater Florida condo after many years of a variety of serious health problems. Having grown up watching Evel Knievel as young kid (I was about 9-14 in his heyday), it is a sad loss for me. Yes, I know he was a hard living, thick skinned, tough little son-of-a-gun - but Bobby Knievel from Butte Montana was a childhood hero for me, like it or not. I mean, back in the day - no one else was doing the kind of wild stunts Evel did whenever he felt like it. And yes, he sure paid a price too. I watched some of the recent History channel bios - and also heard his son Robby speak less than highly of his dad, rest assured i have been made aware of the man's sins - I still liked him and respected him. One time, I even got to hear the inside story from an ESPN executive of how he pummeled Shelly Saltman with a baseball bat for insulting his family (it is not pretty story at all). What can I say - I still have some respect for the knucklehead.

Check out the 1971 movie about Evel Knievel starring George Hamilton, see a commercial for the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle, or watch Evel Knievel totally wipe-out at Caesar's Palace. And if you like all the crazy BMX and dirt bike races today - give Evel Knievel some props. He did a lot of groundwork to make those sports the big draw they enjoy today.

Another interesting tidbit regarding the big jump at Caesar's Palace, ABC declined to cover the event for their show The Wide World of Sports - so Knievel got John Derek to film it. To try and save some coin - Derek had his wife Linda Evans work as a camera operator. (he married Bo Derek later, and Ursula Andress before Evans). And yes, it was Linda Evans - aka Crystal from Dynasty who shot the footage of Evel skipping across the Dunes parking lot next to Caesars. Learn more from Wikipedia's entry on Evel Knievel.

And one more thing - I rode in to work Saturday morning on my motorcycle in low 30 degree weather just to post this blog entry. I hope Evel made the jump all the way to heaven. Every now and then, doing something crazy is good for you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Random Returns To the Studio

After a prolonged, unplanned sabatical to visit hell on Earth, Frank Random dropped by the LikeTelevision studios for a brief visit the other day. As you might recall from a previous post this summer, Frank has had a very difficult year - basically getting as close to death as I have ever seen a person get, and yet somehow, Frank was able to pull out of it. How close? Well - it was bad enough that I found myself standing over him in the hospital and asking God to please take the poor man back home. I asked a priest to come by and give him extreme unction, which is a sacrament in the Catholic church, now called annointing of the sick. Some folks associate it with Last Rites, but it is now given to people who are just very sick, not always on their death bed. But back then - Mr. Random was indeed very much on his death bed or so it seemed.

But thank God - Frank made it out, and I am pretty sure he had some divine help getting out too. It made my day, my week and my month to see Frank in the studio. Now, before you expect him to crank out 50 new shameless showcases - just chill. He still has a lot of rehabilition to do. But if all goes well, he should be coming in more frequently and once again, do what he does best, which is to bring a smile to your face and a little joy to the world. I hope everyone has a great weekend and that you find yourself feeling like you have an Angel on your shoulder too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Am Legend Redux

Here it comes again, like a freight train full of hungry zombies. On December 14, 2007 Warner Brothers is releasing another version of sci-fi master storyteller Richard Matheson's I am Legend, starring Will Smith as Robert Neville, the last man on Earth. You might remember the 1971 film Omega Man with Charleston Heston in the lead role. And a few years later, Heston was in another flesh eating drama called Soylent Green, but I digress.

But in truth, you really need to watch the original I am Legend movie, The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price to judge which version is the best. For me, Uncle Vinnie in the 1964 classic is still the best of the bunch. I'll check out the new one when it hits the big screen and give you my gut feeling. If you'd like to watch the original, The Last Man on Earth - which is the Alpha version of the Omega Man Legend - check it out and watch the whole movie for free online at LikeTelevision. (or grab the embed code and offer it to your blog readers if you like). In addition, we just recompiled the download for this film and made a very nice looking MPEG-2 download for our subscribers or for those intrepid viewers who want to download the movie a la carte. It is encoded at half-D1, which means the window size is 352x480. The 352 width gets stretched to 704 when played in a DVD player. I regret that if you watch it in a windows media player, it doesn't want to make the strectch correctly but hopefully, this shortcoming won't surprise you. (tweak to MS developers, get with the program material).

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Classic TV Downloads

Jack Benny was one of the funniest characters in the early days of television. His humor was dry like a perfect martini, and his penchant for being the cheapest cheapskate was legendary. So to honor Jack, we added some new Jack Benny episodes to the download library. First up - The Letterman, starring special guests The Letterman as Jack's college roommates. And one of my favorites, Jack Goes To New York. An amazing cast of characters, including Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy, Tweety and a million other cartoon characters as the plumber deom E-Z Plumbing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Great Internet Smoke-Out

As most of our regulars know, LikeTelevision has been hemorrhaging on the bleeding edge since fortran was the need to know computer language. Nope, there's nothing common about our gateway interface. Back when it wasn't cool, we declared ourselves as the first smoke-free web site on the planet. (If we had known we were depriving little kids in Oregon free healthcare we might have reconsidered, but we didn't know at the time). And unlike most major media outlets, we really try to be as unbiased as we can - offering no dogmatic punditry for fear we might enter into the hopeless catatonic state of a closed mind. (See the current political discourse for a better understanding of our fear). In any event, when we decided to become smoke-free, we were adamant in our need to provide an opposing view. So dear blog reading net denizens - you decide. You make the call. Will LikeTelevision be a smoke free site on the client side, or not. No hidden additives are transferred via server includes and crammed down in a hidden nicorette cookie. This little comedy bit has always been one of favorite clips at the site. Many thanks to the incomparable Bill Hicks for his acerbic wit.

In the event you are a smoker and looking to quit - we strongly recommend the books by Allen Carr. They worked for me. Smoke free for over 3 weeks now. Hey, back off. As Mark Twain once said, quitting smoking is easy. I have done it 1000 times.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Harper Lee Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

On Monday November 5, 2007 Harper Lee, author of classic American novel To Kill A Mockingbird was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This award is the highest award a US civilian can get and recognizes contributions in the arts, literature, science, and the cause of peace and freedom. At last count, over 30 million copies of the book have been sold and I suspect another 30 million pages have been written by high school kids as part of school work. Now usually the book is 100 times better than the movie, but in this case - the movie is pretty darn impressive. OK, not as good as the book - but Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Brock Peters as Tom Robinson give you amazing performances. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three. Check out To Kill A Mockingbird - it is as good as you remembered, maybe even better on the second or third viewing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Holy Chute! Skydiving is fun!

A few weeks ago, my buddy Randy asked me if I wanted to jump out of plane and go skydiving. Sure, sounds like fun - but give me a five or six days because we are moving the servers next week and as such, I had way too much going on to enjoy it. But that week came and went, the move went as smooth as warm butter, and Randy got back to me and said, OK, let's do it on Sunday Cot 28th, I am already booked at 11:00AM. He was convinced I would chicken out, but in truth - i was really looking forward to it so I called the place and made my reservation. Now times have changed a lot since college 30 years ago - when parachuting meant jumping out solo with an old WWII surplus silk parachute. Back then, training included practice jumping from a hayloft and learning to land - HARD! Today - training involved listening to a lawyer on a videotape telling you that you had signed all your rights away, and even the rights of your family and your employer. There was no way you, or they could sue, no matter what happened, even if it was their fault. You understand? That was our training. We were not jumping alone this time, but a tandem jump with a certified instructor, who is highly skilled in the art of skydiving. In short, it was a great experience and I plan to go skydiving next spring when the weather warms up a bit. Check out the video and see what it is like.

Monday, November 5, 2007

One Step Beyond - More episodes!

Look out Sci-Fi buffs, because that wacky pyscho sci-fi afficiando, John Newland is back in town. He's much more frightening than Mack the knife, who also came back to town. Why? Because Newland uses all kinds of psycho kinetic E.S.P. to put the wang doodle on you. He's been known to use bi-location, premonitions, love potions, voodoo, and ghosts, and even magic mushrooms to explore the unknown. Okay... so we have a writer's strike in Hollywood. So they'll be no new episodes of recycled humor that are presented with less class than when they got when the writers were kids. Don't worry folks. Newland is back in town and more One Step Beyond episodes are on the way, to save the day for mankind.

Today we have a really fun episode, where things work out well. It is about that weird pyschic communication that goes on between identical twins. One of my personal favorites called The Trap. Have fun and don't get too scared.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ScreamFest 07 - Horror Blowout!

Once again - it is that time of year again, October. And that means we have to blow off the doors again for the annual ScreamFest, a.k.a. LikeTelevision's Streaming Screaming Halloween. The library of horror films has grown like crazy - and we try to put together for you with our suggestions, plus - your suggestions of what's best... and the obvious categories like witches, vampires, and zombies. Plus a bunch more TV classic Halloween Specials from back in the day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Movie Downloads

Just in time for the weekend, we've added a bunch of movie downloads. For a Halloween treat, get ready for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring the legendary actor John Barrymore. (John would be Drew Barrymore 's grandfather). One of the original great silent horror films, I suspect you will be impressed with Barrymore's performance. He really does a great job of portraying the dual sides of the same man.

And speaking of complex great men, check out the incomparable Buster Keaton in The General. This wonderful film is in the IMDB top 250 movies of all time and for good reason. Made in 1927 - in its day, this was perhaps the greatest film ever made. Buster Keaton's comedy genius shines as always. He is hilarious as the lead character Johnny Gray.

Also - another Halloween gem for all you fans of One Step Beyond. Check out another new episode added to the LikeTelevision Media Library, The Trap starring Mike Kellin, about the psychic link between identical twins. An excellent episode!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moving to California

On Tuesday October 16th, we'll be loading up the truck with some older servers and moving to a new swankier location with lots of perks. No, we're not really moving to California (we already have 7 servers there already) - we are just moving the core part of the site, and all the many servers on subdomains to a data center 20 miles away from the one we were in for the last 12 years. As you might guess, this is not a walk in the park... but we are getting all the ducks in a row to do the move on Tuesday. We thought we should give you a heads up. We don't expect the users to ever notice, since the files are mirrored on a bunch of shiny new servers with new levels of speed and storage. Gotta get back to editing room. More in a bit.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Che Guevara Killed Oct 8, 1967

It was 40 years ago today that Che Guevara was killed in Bolivia. This short newsreel from the ealy 1990s features a bunch of video clips of Che Guevara, speaking at the United Nations, speaking at a rally in Cuba, and other news snippets from long ago. The newsreel states he was killed in guerrilla action by the Bolivian government, but rumors remain that the C.I.A. had a hand in it. Or maybe it was the Soviets? In any event, Che Guevara was killed 40 years ago today. I do not expext to be wearing any Che T-shirts for some time to come, but indeed I do hope God has mercy on poor Che's soul. It is nice to want good things for the people (and it can also be annoying), but when you need a gun to encourage people to go along, perhaps it is time to reconsider your plan.

Che Guevara -10/08/1967

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Top 5 Silent Horror Movies

Everybody likes a good Top 10 list, but we'll go one better - yes, a Top 5 list, in this case, The Best 5 Silent Horror Movies. Not only do we provide a list, we also have the entire films to watch online for free. Let them drum roll begin, or better still how about an a J.S. Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Okay, here goes.

5) Hunchback of Notre Dame(1923). The Victor Hugo classic was released in 1923 and starred Lon Chaney as Quasimodo. Plus, a killer preview by LikeTelevision's own, Frank Random.

4) Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde(1920). Based on another classic literary work, in this case Robert Louis Stevenson's story called The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Plus - this could be John Barrymore's greatest performance. Really amazing acting, a must for all wanna be thesbians.

3) Nosferatu(1922) - Okay folks, this 1922 F.W. Murnau film is really creepy. Based on Bram Stoker's epic novel Dracula, Max Schrek is amazingly frightening as the Vampire Nosferatu. In a fit of insanity, Frank Random worked like a maniac to put a new soundtrack on it. Have fun.

2) The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Lon Chaney is brilliant in his role as the music genius named Erik, who gets disfigured and becomes the Phantom of the Opera.

1) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1921) starring Werner Krauss as Dr. Caligari. Nothing is more frightening than one's mind - wondering what is real and fantasy, and wandering between the lines of sanity and madness. The Mother of all horror films - Check out Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari. Or watch Frank Random's preview for a taste.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

LikeTelevision Baseball Videos

Since it's that time of year again, Baseball time, also known as October, we thought we'd offer our top picks in the search for baseball videos. The favorite seems to be The Clampetts meet the Dodgers with Leo Durocher of the LA Dodgers, followed closely by the Jackie Robinson movie. Not to be missed, an early live tv performance by Paul Newman in Bang the Drum slowly. Plus - Max Patkin the clown prince of baseball, and an old shaving commercial with Pee Wee Reese, Don Zimmer and Roy Campenella. Want more baseball video? Try here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Elly Mae

Born in Pride, Louisiana September 26, 1933 - Donna Douglas was 29 years old when she started playing her role as Elly Mae Clampett, the critter loving, lovely rustic lassie on the Beverly Hillbillies. Oddly enough, the series also begins on her birthday - September 26, 1962. I always was a fan of Donna Douglas - she played the character Elly Mae so well. And then she disappeared from the Hollywood scene to become a Gospel singer and animal rights advocate. Cool. Should it be surprising that she really did love animals? I don't think so. Imagine all the crazy animals she enjoyed during the run of the show - there were chimps, dogs, turkeys, donkeys, and even a kangeroo. Plus about 50 other species now that I think about. Anyway - we'd like to wish Donna Douglas a joyous birthday. She turns 74 today. Happy Birthday Elly Mae! Here are a few recommended episodes. My three favorites are one, two, three. Want more? - Watch more episodes here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Watch the Monitor

Is it just me, or has the TV news gotten ridiculous once again. Such a hyperactive sense of uber drama, and at every turn there's a snub or a hint to incite anger. What to do you say.. well, turn off the TV and Watch The Monitor. Recently a movie starring O.J. Simpson, Richard Burton, Lee Marvin and Linda Evans has gotten popular. The Klansman, created in 1974 is not what I'd call great cinema, but it is quite interesting from a historical perspective. The film also has some bizarre ironies with today's news cycle, most are disturbing but a bunch of these synchronous snippets are just funny. By the way - Linda Evans filmed the famous Evel Knievel wipe-out at Caesar's palace. You see, John Derek got the nod to film the jump, and at the time Linda Evans was Derek's girlfriend (or wife.. not sure)... and she did the camera work on this job for John Derek. You can watch that jump if like, it's in part 4 of the Evel Knievel movie.

I recently felt compelled to watch a few more Renoir movies - after noting the similarities between Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night and Renoir's Rules of the Game. Jean Renoir was one of the greats in early film, yet unfortunately, most Americans are clueless to his genius. He was the son of Auguste Renoir, the impressionist painter whose works sell at auction for millions and millions of dollars. Well, Jean Renoir his son was also brilliant. I bet that was interesting, being the son of a reknowned painter. But Jean chose a new medium to excel in - film. Another Jean Renoir gem is titled Grand Illusion - a wonderful film about the bitter futility of war and its effect on population, especially families. Finally, you can also check out Boudu Saved from Drowning, a terrific film about class, conformity, freedom and loving. Boudu is played by Michel Simon, who at the time was called the French Charlie Chaplin.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Favorite Bergman Film

Ingmar Bergman, one a the greatest directors of film died in late July after a remarkable career. For most cocktail party film buffs, the Bergman films they might mention are Wild Strawberries or The Seventh Seal. While both of these are amazing films, Bergman made so many films (he directed over 60 - via IMDB) that you really need to see his top 10 or 20 before deciding which is your favorite Bergman film. For me, his best was Sommarnattens leende, or Smiles of a Summer Night released in 1955. The movie is very reminiscent of a 1939 Jean Renoir film called Rules of The Game (rated #3 in the BFI Sight & Sound top 10 films of all time). Both movies offer a funny and thought provoking look at love, and how it changes in the course of one's journey through life. Young lovers who are foolish and naive, middle aged lovers who are bored with their spouses and end up being unfaithful. And older, wiser folks who see love like a child, but also take with them the wisdom gleaned from those more carnal years. It is really hard to say which film is better - both are very funny and entertaining, but I laughed so hard during the final scenes of Bergamn's Smiles of Summer Night, I'd have to give the nod to Bergman. But decide for yourself - which love satire did you like better - Rules of the Game or Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tonight Show, Presidential Politics

Last night, Fred Thompson former Senator from Tennessee, and TV star of Law & Order announced he was running for President on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I didn't see it live, but saw some streams of the 2 segments this morning. He seems like a nice guy. I'd have a beer with him. And then I remembered a post I read a week or two earlier from Mark Evanier at Newsfromme, where he discussed the Richard Nixon appearance on the tonight show with Johnny Carson, saying that Nixon was given the humor lines so he could be more entertaining. I have no idea if this is true, don't care that much either since it happened when I was 2 years old, but I thought it was ironic, a weird synchronous - everything old is new again moment. Check it out and watch Richard Nixon on the Tonight Show when he is running against Lyndon B. Johnson for President.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Happy Birthday - Raquel Welch

On September 5, 1940, Jo Raquel Tejada was born in Chicago, Illinois. The family loaded up the truck and moved to California (a precursor to the Clampetts perhaps?) when Raquel was just 2. She studied dance, aspired to be an actress someday and each and every day, grew more and more beautiful. Raquel Welch got instant stardom as a cave woman (pre-Geico) in this really campy film called One Million Years B.C. where she had this furry bikini on. She liked to swim and she sweated a lot too. The world didn't have their Marilyn Monroe (videos, images) sex goddess figure after the lovely & charming Norma Jeane died in 1962. When audiences saw Raquel Welch - we all shouted together, WOW, you are it! As such, her skills as an actress were always downplayed, though she was indeed a hard working and talented woman. Tant Pis, or too bad, she deserved better. But in all honesty, she was so attractive, it was distracting. She handled this gift & curse with style and grace. Happy Birthday Raquel Welch.

Here's a few choice clips from the LikeTelevision(TM) video library. A short 30 sec bio clip from This Day in Hollywood. And a very funny moment with Raquel Welch from the Johnny Carson Show.

You can get more bio information on Raquel Welch at IMDB or Wikipedia.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jeep, Popeye's Alien Pal

One of my favorite Popeye cartoons in the cartoon library at LikeTelevision is titled Eugene The Jeep. In case you are a babe in the woods - Eugene the Jeep was some kind of sweet alien creature who appeared on Popeye's front porch one day, arriving in a package with the Jeep inside. Lots of folks felt this was Popeye's dog or something... but Eugene was much cooler than that... he was able to appear, re-appear... and bi-locate.... a very cool alien lifeform indeed. This toon was created during WWII (1940)... so we are not sure that the Jeep name was some kind of tribute to the funky new army vehicle introduced during the war.... called a Willy, now better known as a Jeep. We'll let you make the call... do a search on google.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Max Kolby - August 14, 1941

Max Kolbe died today on August 14, 1941. While most people are remembered for their life, Max Kolbe is remembered mostly for the heroic nature of his death. He was a Polish Catholic priest sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis for trying to secretly hide several thousand Jews. Back in those dark days, just being a Catholic priest was reason enough to get sent to the camps - so Max's "crime" was even more severe. A Catholic priest trying to harbor Jews made him a huge target.

In late July 1941 Max Kolbe asked to take the place of a man with a family who had been condemned to death. A prisoner had escaped in his cell block and so, people were randomly chosen to die by starvation for this transgression. Max said - take me instead. His story is quite remarkable and I suggest you learn more about Maximilian Kolbe if you are unfamiliar with the man.

In honor of Max Kolbe, we recommend two movies. First - Escape from Sobibor starring Alan Arkin and Rutger Hauer. Sobibor was a concentration camp in Poland and unfortunately, not enough people have ever heard of what transpired there. It is an amazing movie about one of the greatest prisoner escapes in WWII. Just watch it. It's an A+ film of a heroic story, just like Max Kolbe's life. Second - we suggest Roberto Rossellini's Open City, which is another powerful World War II story, this time set in Rome. In this movie, Aldo Fabrizi plays a heroic Catholic priest. It also Anna Magnani.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Alfred Hitchcock's Cameo Appearances

On the anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's birthday (born August 13,1899), I thought of an interesting exercise for all you film lover's out there in net land. Similar to Where's Waldo... the test is to find Sir Alfred where no man has found him before. Hitchcock was known for his many cameo appearances in his films, and yes indeed - these cameos are explored in some depth on the net. (try here for almost a google of pages on the subject). But to find Alfred where he has already been found, is easy. Fun yes.. but easy. Want something harder? Find him in films where he has not been found. As far as i know... he has not been found in a few dozen of his films. And guess what... you can find a bunch of those films right here at LikeTelevision. The original Man Who Knew Too Much(1936), Sabotage(1936), The Secret Agent(1936) or Number Seventeen(1932). Can you find Sir Alfred where no man has found him before?

Have fun... if you can find Sir Alfred in the films listed above, send us an email and we'll post it in our blog. (the story will get picked up by AP and we'll make you a star - a virtual guarantee of your 15 minutes of fame. (please provide a time and a sceen grab for verification). Or - you can also rediscover Hitch in The Lady Vanishes. Need a hint?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman Dies at 89

Ingmar Bergman, one of THE greatest directors died today at the age of 89. (NYT obit) I will never forget my first encounter with a Bergman film. That scene from Wild Strawberies, where the funeral procession just drolls on and on as it moves slowly down the street. Horses... clip clop.... And then... bada AHHHH ! If you've seen it, you know. if not - i couldn't spoil it for you. It's too much fun. Later, I watched the Seventh Seal - so creepy and ethereal. And saw a bunch more too.... with still so many more to see. (I am not even a quarter of the way thru all his films). Ingmar Bergman changed the course of film. He made it some kind of spiritual and heightened experience. On so many levels and layers. He was a true artist. A ground breaker. May God bless Ingmar Bergman and all the great works he made in the course of his long and fruitful lifetime. We'll miss him.

Here's one of my favorites, The Brink of Life, lesser known but really terrific.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Benefit Concert For Doug - July 22

If you are a regular at LikeTelevision - you know him as Frank Random, the creative mind, artistic genius, suave silky voiced funny guy, and LT's chief creative officer. (learn more bout Frank - Zim Zum, Shameless 1, 2 or singing so sweet) Frank is amazing!

Well in the real world, his name is Doug Hawthorn. Earlier this year, Doug sustained serious injuries in a car accident. After that, he got a bad bacterial infection while at the hospital. Many operations, and procedures later, he now resides in a rehabilitation facility. Doug will probably have to stay there for a while.

Being a professional musician for most of life - 3 decades plus, Doug made a lot of friends who were fellow musicians and on Sunday July 22, 2 PM till ? at the Double Door at the Lake, there's gonna be a whopper of a benefit concert for Doug (poster). With Bob Margolin, Jim Brock, Lenny Federal and lots more great music all Sunday long.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Live Aid - July 13th Friday 07 Irony

On July 13, 1985 Live Aid debuts with a great deal of excitement and money to burn. This newsreel - made in 1990 tells us with a touch of glee, that Phil Collins was able to play in London and Philadelphia by riding the Concorde. Zoom, Zoom. Kind of ironic given the spirit and tone of the latest Live (put Cause Here) sequel - Live Earth. Now sure, I am all for a green style of living, which means have a low consumption level. Drive less, walk more. Ride the motorcycle - save gas. But watching the Live Earth show was pretty weak. Musically limp. Now I did learn a few things about saving energy. Like not leaving your cell phone charger plugged in the wall because it uses energy even when it is not plugged into your phone. Ok, cool. But the music was lame to way too tame to all the same. Shakira rocked, but most of it ..zzzzzzz. Now if Shakira could have flown in a private jet and moved her hips on a few continents that would have been cool. The stars can't do that anymore. Bummer. (c)Hips don't lie.

Get the embed code here

Monday, July 9, 2007

Gerald McBoing Boing's Symphony

One of the greatest characters in cartoon history is Gerald McBoing Boing - who was thsi little kid, so skilled at sound effects, he could pretty much do anything. And in fact - he was often asked to do the most crazy and impossible tasks. Like this cartoon - Gerald McBoing Boing's Symphony - it seems the orchestra is nowhere near the studio so they give Gerald the musical score and off he goes, reproducing the entire musical piece. And a bunch of very funny musical playfulness when the sheet music falls off the stand & Gerald has trouble reading it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

July 4th Video Blast

Here's a few fun videos to watch in honor of the July 4th holiday. First - a spooky One Step Beyond episode starring John Newland and George Washington. Called Night in Decemeber, General George Washington our first president and commander in chief, has a psychic experience on a cold night in December. Also worthy - Andy Discovers America - a classic. Want fireworks - by all means check out Patriotic Popeye where Popeyes' nephews get into pyrotechnic trouble.

And who could forget this fine moment in the 1940s when Kate Smith introduced a new song called God Bless America.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Great Moments in Boxing History

June 22, 1937 marks the end of the era of the Cinderella Man, as Jimmy Braddock gets beaten by the perhaps the greatest boxer of all time, Joe Louis. Braddock, an Irish Catholic scrapper from a poor family was the uber-underdog in the Max Bear vs James Braddock fight on June 13, 1935. More on that history can be found here (06/03/05 entry) and some cool pix too.

But enough of those guys - today we are honoring Joe Louis, known as the Brown Bomber - in a class by himself for boxing longevity and titles. Today, June 22 marks the 70th anniversary of Joe Louis' first Heavyweight title. One of the greatest pugilists of all time. Joe Louis was 23 at the time, and he was knocked to the mat in the first round by 32 year old Jimmy Braddock. But he got up and proceeded to dominate the fight till it was called in the eighth round, as Jimmy Braddock was just getting pummeled. For the next six years, he defends his crown. Joe retires & goes off to join the war effort, where he served with distintion. Returns to the USA and wants his title back. So he got back in the ring, and in all won 25 title fight fights over eleven years. His record of 69 wins, 3 losses and 55 knock-outs is going to be pretty tough to beat. Muhammad Ali is also in this same rare air of boxing greatests - check out this video clip if you are an Ali fan like me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tux Toon - Peeking Penguins

Today's feature is called Peeking Penguins. Any fan of Linux loves Penguins, and we got here a humdinger of a Penguin cartoon. A bunch of penguins kids, acting like rascals who don't listen to their Mama penguin get in a bunch of sticky situations. Mama penguin likes to sing that song Curiosity Killed the Cat.

The cat had nine lives yes that was true
but only one was given to you
so it isn't so wise to snoop.
Old school penguins chilling in a cabin in the frozen snow. The A-Lads' Jimmy King's got a penguin too. Love it!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Father's Day Fun and Games

Our hearts go out to all the father's out for their special day on Sunday - Father's Day. Yes... that one day during the year when we all can just kick our legs up on the ottoman, and relax. On any other day of the year, all bets are off. No matter how much you had your heart set on taking a nap, going to a ballgame or whatever, as a father you should expect that someone, usually a female someone but not always, will come up with an alternative for your time, just as you get settled in. Ahhhhh - but not on Father's Day. So... cheers all you men who have children and meet the bar that makes you a Father.

Here's some recommended videos for you to watch in honor of all the Fathers out there. To Kill A Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck, as one of the great father roles of movie history. Andy Griffith - Andy Discover's America, and Popeye & Pops in Poopdeck Pappy are three good ones for you single fathers. Another classic is Father's Little Dividend starring Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor and that good witch, Billy Burke. Finally - we suggest watching a terrific Johnny Cash film from back in the day called The Pride of Jesse Hallam.

Of course we also made a short list of our best less than perfect father related content for all those people who want to remember Dad as a flawed man. Please, just kidding - even if you think Dad was or is a loser, we suggest you forgive him and get that load of bricks off your back. And after you check out a few of these dads, I bet you will find that your Dad is a creampuff. Let's start off this short list with How Awful about Allan starring Tony Perkins and Julie Harris. Next up, a Boy and His Dog, where Don Johnson gets to act as a father figure for all of Topeka. Another bizarre father character can be seen in the Aerialist, an episode of One Step Beyond starring Mike Connors (Mannix) and Mario Patruzzio. Another difficult father-in-law character can be seen in The Copper, starring Ernest Borgnine and Wally Cox.

Honestly - this list of father related content is quite lengthy. But I can't forget Ozzie Nelson in the list unless I feel like I am not getting enough angry email :~) - and the list goes on and on of video content related to fathers. OK, one last suggestion - The Borrowers, where Eddie Albert plays the ultimate Little People, Big World father - he's about 3 inches tall! (which reminded me of the page in Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions where the alien is killed when an auto worker mistakes the diminutive galactic immigrant for a kitchen match and kills him by accident by striking his head repeatedly against the bar stool). Oh Brother!... or should I say, Oh Father! - Oh wait, one more suggestion.How could I forget Father Rojas, the catholic priest from Dragnet who calls Joe Friday in to find the purloined Jesus? (somebody steals the baby Jesus from the nativity scene). OK, that's it. Happy Father's Day!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sopranos finale - Hollywood Inversion

This Sunday marks the end of the Sopranos run as the best show on television. Like a lot of folks, I do not have HBO, and started getting into the show thanks to A&E, which is airing earlier seasons for us losers who don't feel compelled to be on the cutting edge of what's hot. The more I think about it, being "current" isn't a great place to be anymore. As I flipped stations last night, I wondered why the heck people gave a crap if Paris was in jail or not, do you really care? I don't. And the phrase, house arrest, I mean mansion arrest - became trite before i finished the news pundit sector of the tv dial. That corny joke was on every station. Oh so clever... you all came up with same phrase. Honestly it was more pathetic than it was funny. But i digress, back to Tony Soprano, or T as Christopher calls him and his poor tortured family. I wondered if Meadow would end up just like Carmin, and how the show often reminds me of watching a car wreck in slow motion. Yes - it is really hard not to watch, something inside begs to not look away. But something inside also wishes that you had the strength to look away. The show has given me bizarre dreams and made me feel queasy in the same way the Deerhunter made me feel sick to my stomach, but I still watch the show and yeah - I enjoy it too. My question is this. Am I paying some kind of hidden price for somehow enjoying this poor family blow up in every aspect of what is good and decent and honest and sweet. Whenever there is a tender moment, you can almost guarantee that someone is gonna get whacked. The more tender the moment - the more violent the death will be.

Anyway - when i was a kid, I had the same fascination with bizarre criminal activity. Growing up in Wisconsin, we had a lot of Hall of Famers in the crime world. Ed Gein - who was the real life inspiration for Hitchcock's Psycho with Tony Perkins, to Jeffrey Dalmer who lived a few blocks away from where my Aunt Carol did social work. And I remember eating in a restaurant in Little Bohemia Wisconsin that was the site of a big gun battle between the police and John Dillinger. The bullet holes in the glass were preserved by other panes of glass that protected the historical event. I am not sure what it is about criminal activity - but for some reason, we are fascinated by it. I just wonder... is there a price attached to this fascination. Part of me says - yes. You lose innocence.

But, enough of that - I thought it was somehow relevant to this old story of Johnny Stompanato and Lana Turner and Cheryl Crane. It is kind of like an inverted Tony Soprano story - where it is real life people, one a major Hollywood star - who experience a terrible tragedy where the mob guy gets knifed by little girl trying to protect her mom. The mom, Lana Turner then goes on to make a movie that is lot like the tragedy in her life... and in another twist of irony - The film is called Imitation of Life. Now if you've never seen - check it out, its a great movie. But back then, the consequences of all this tragic behavior was part of the story. You know - I do not see that same sentiment today.

Friday, June 1, 2007

North Carolina Buzz

Yee Haw... lots going on in North Carolina this weekend. First - today is Andy Griffith's 81st birthday. Born on June 1, 1926 in Mount Airy NC. I bet they will have a bunch of Andy and Mayberry related activities this weekend in Mt Airy, but a little more subdued than last year, which was his 80th - you know, a round number... um ending in zero. And sweet lil Norma Jeanne was born on the same day (June 1, 1926)... huh? you probably know her a Marilyn Monroe, or that old actress who looks a bit like Gwen Stefani. And also in the news today is John Edwards and some fresh law suits about some sunken treasure the Spanards are saying the Edwards' investment group stole. What? - does that make John Edwards a pirate ??? Arrrrgh. Hey... it's Robert Newton's birthday too - you know, the guy who played long John Silver... and gave us the pirate... ARRRRGH in the first place. In case you missed, Mr. Edwards went to Mayberry a few weeks back to have Floyd the Barber give him a little trim around the ears for the steep price of $1.

But the really big news this weekend in Charlotte, NC is the dedication of the Billy Graham library. Big wigs from all over are coming in for the ceremony... including a few former presidents. So... in case you missed the Billy Graham video on the site - check it out. Amazingly poignant and quite entertaining too - as Woody Allen interviews the respected evangelist in a 1969 comedy special. (the interview is in Part 3). Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Marion's Memorial Day Musings

Happy Birthday to Marion.... i mean John Wayne, also known by his moniker - The Duke! On May 26, 1907 - John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison), was born in Winterset, Iowa. So... pilgrim, John Wayne's 100th year birthday bash begins this weekend! Though loved by millions of fans for his straight forward honesty and no nonsense nature, the critics were not that friendly. He was too gruff, and bull headed. etc etc... a man's man - not the sensitive mamby pamby type of guy Hollywood critics embrace. But - cut the man some slack - that is just how he was. He would go on to win just one Oscar in 1970 for Best Actor in True Grit, as the one eyed tough guy - Rooster Cogburn.

LikeTelevision features a really fun John Wayne movie called McLintock - where politically incorrect testosterone grit - just shines. The movie even features a scene where he spanks his estranged wife, played beautifully by a wonderful actress named Maureen O'Hara. (go to the McLintock page to see an enhanced frame of the spanking, in all its glory). Even more fun - is the incredibly funny home grown funny trailer, made by LikeTelevision's witty virtuso Frank Random. The trailer was made shortly after 09/11/2001... and it remains a great peice of biting acerbic satire today. (The Duke's name in the film is George W. McLintock... and the trailer makes an implied reference to George W, aka Dubya the younger.... and offers a terrific suggestion for this holiday weekend - "let's not let an old Indian raid ruin a good Barbeque - Meat's ON!). Anyway... in honor of John Wayne, and the upcoming long Memorial Day Weekend - we thought the trailer was worth highlighting.

Also of note - it's Tonto's birthday (05/26/12 - Born in Ontario, Canada)... aka the very cool actor named Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto on the Lone Ranger. And also Robert Morley has a birthday today (b. May 26, 1908 in Semley, Wiltshire, England, UK) - he was a wonderful British actor who you'd probably recognize - but couldn't remember his name. While most might remember him in John Huston's classic - Beat the Devil (written by Truman Capote) with Humphrey Bogart, Gini Lolabrigida, and Peter Lorre... and the stunning Jennifer Jones, who was married to Hollywood heavyweight producer, David O. Selznick. (she was awesome in The Man with the Grey Flannel Suit and A Farewell to Arms with Gary Cooper - but i digress). Let's get back to Robert Morley - if you wanna have some fun - by all means check out Theater of Blood (starring Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, and Robert Morley). Morley plays a harsh critic of washed up Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart (Uncle Vinny)... In Theater of Blood, Morley plays an effeminate (perhaps gay, who knows... ) critic who just loves his 2 little toy poodles. Anyway... Vincent Price exacts revenge on all these critics by acting out some horror from a Shakepeare play.... in Morley's case, the play is TITUS ANDRONICUS... where the character ends up eating his own children baked in a pie. Since Morley has no kids ... Uncle Vinny decides to serve him the little poodles baked in a pie. It is one of the most wonderful scenes.. you probably never even heard about. As chilling as anything Quentin Tarantino ever served up. And in case you missed it... or don't have time to watch it... by all means check out the trailer, again - pure genius by LikeTelevision's own Frank Random.. and read the commentary, which features all kinds of wonderful references to Shakespeare, and the fate met by the critics.


Why, there they are both, baked in that pie;
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.

Friday, May 11, 2007

John, Mother's Day and Flash

John Huston was an interesting guy - a great film director who loved to go over budget, to live full throttle, to bag big game in Africa, and of course, he's Dad to Angelica Huston. Clearly, he was very passionate in all that he did. His films include African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Beat the Devil, and a very compelling Marilyn Monroe documentary. They were friends too and did a few movies together.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there. Your contribution is beyond measure and I am so grateful for all you do, both individually and collectively. Happy Mother's Day. Here's some Flowers. Search for Mother - and find an interesting video related to dear old mom.

Been working like a dog - converting over 10,000 video files to fill up the new flash library. After conversion, the flv files are injected with metadata to enhance playback. The servers needed to play all these flash files had to be created and custom tweaked. And a slew of little applications working together create the random ad inserts in the playlist. (just refresh the page and replay the video) - you'll get a new playlist in ads and station ids. Want more flash movies, tv shows, cartoons etc etc...a mountain of flash video files to watchhere's a link.

Watch The Wild Ride, an old bad boy film with funky fast cars, cops riding killer vintage Harley Davidsons and of course, Jack Nicholson.

Monday, May 7, 2007

An Aqualad on the Food Channel Tonight

Our good buddy Jimmy King of the Aqualads will be featured tonight on the Food Channel at 10 PM EST. (Some show called, Diners, Drive-in and Dives - or something like that). Jimmy's mondo restaurant is called The Penguin, and it is really an historic site, going back to 1944. Very cool place to get a deep fried pickel, the burgers are amazing, and the ambiance is a real throwback in time.

Here's a cool vintage clip of the Aqualads.

Gotta get back to work. more Aqualads here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ballet Mecanique - Stop Motion Masterpiece

In 1924, Fernand Leger was already known as an amazing painter with a flair for the outrageous. So when he decided to make a film with avant garde composer George Antheil it seemed like a natural idea. But there was one problem, the musical score was like twice as long as the film. That's not going to work. And so, each artist went away with their artisitc work and the music was not played with the film when it debuted in 1924. Way early days of film. Sergei Eisenstein released Potemkin in 1925. In a few rare instances, some folks have tried to re-sync the works to the best of their ability. Some of them are pretty decent too. But I have to give props to our resident wizard at LikeTelevision™ - Frank Random. A few years back, he decided to tackle the impossible and rescore the works as it might have happened. What can I say - a home run, Random's the man. Having played as a studio hired gun bass player, engineer, producer or composer on over 1000 albums & CDs, I guess this shouldn't surprise me, but I was very impressed by the tension and musical interplay of his re-syncronized version. Blew me away. If you haven't seen it, check it out. Ballet Mecanique.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

John Edwards sees Floyd the Barber

In a last ditch effort to rescue his campaign from profligate spending on trivial hirsutes - John Edwards left the burgeoning metropolis of Beverly Hills to head down to Mayberry for a $1.00 haircut from Floyd the Barber. Floyd had a little trouble in his shop with some missing dynamite, but it wasn't a terror plot, just a hungry goat.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Taxes and the Titanic

Watch Granny, armed with a shotgun, take a few warning blasts at the Revenue Man in Jed Pays His Taxes. Meanwhile George Burn's wife, Gracie Allen is just confusing the heck out of the tax boys - here, and here too.

also of note - April 15th was the day the Titanic sunk. One of favorite episodes of One Step Beyond has got to Night of April 14th, about all these people who had profound nightmares and visions of the upcoming disaster. The story of the book, published shortly before the launch is really amazing - very eerie. Check it out here or