Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy Brids Come Home

In case you didn't know - I just love birds. And being a man of passion, when I say I love birds - that means to normal people, I am a bird freak. No kidding. Every day, rain or shine - I go out with a few buckets of all kinds of food, and fill up feeders, scatter some on the ground, replace suet, and even get peanuts and some weird stuff too - cause I just love birds. These little critters bring me so much joy - and by far, they are the best weathermen in the world. (better than Grady Norton or George Carlin, the Hippy Dippy Weatherman). Early in the year, I knew something crazy was up because of the birds, and indeed - it snowed a few inches the next day. Compared to these bird brains, Al Gore knows next to nothing about climate, which is perhaps an inconvenient truth, but true all the same.

So - I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite bird related video clips at LikeTelevision. Bill and Coo is a really bizarre and entertaining movie - starring birds! I mean it is just plain silly. And speaking of bird related comedy - Johnny Carson has a TV classic video with the rooster as a special guest. Speaking of roosters - there's Foghorn Leghorn(sorry, no video for this), or check out this cartoon classic with Herman and Henry. And in case you didn't think birds were political animals - well think again! Watch this WWII classic called the Ducktators. And while we are into cartoons - Talking Magpies introduces the great comedy duo of Heckle and Jeckle. And what about Woody Woodpecker? And a search for Crow has a ton of good stuff too.

This summer - I tried and tried to have a bird eat from my hand. No, not a caged bird - I could never have a bird in a cage, like I said, i Love birds. I wanted a wild bird in the hand, coming to feed on the tons of seed provided every year. While I never achieved my goal this summer - I got so close. There was a family of brown capped nuthatches that would shimmy down a 4x4 pole, and come within and inch of my hand, and then think better of it. It must have happened 50 times - but no luck in actually getting a peanut from my hand. The closest I got was once or twice - one of them would graze my hand as it flew away. Well, the cat made this a lot harder... but sometime soon, I just know it is gonna happen. Or at least I hope so.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Muhammad Ali and the Smothers Brothers

I just finished watching an interesting clip of Penn Jillette talking about how he was screamed at by Tommy Smothers for going on some stupid news show. Not sure which one, I think it was Glenn Beck on Fox News, but who cares. Let's face it, it does not matter which side of the fence you are on today, you can just flip through the cable channels and have no trouble finding something that is annoying to you. Thank goodness there are so many channels. Just use your remote control - you do not even have to get up.

Anyway - I remembered a really funny clip when the Smothers Brothers were on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and thought it was worth highlighting. Also featured in this short clip is Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, way before he ever got into grilling burgers or chicken. Hope you enjoy it - check out the Smothers Brothers doing a really funny little ditty about what their Daddy's do for a living.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13th - Happy Birthday Grandma

On October 13, 1902, my grandmother was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was the child of what they used to call, a girl in trouble - meaning Grandma was born out of wedlock, and the father had decided to disappear after having relations with the young teenage girl. And so, because times were much different a century ago, this poor frightened kid had her child and my Grandmother was immediately put up for adoption. Though she never met her mom, I was told she believed she was of Scandinavian decent, probably Finnish. Today I feel blessed to have enjoyed so many wonderful times with my grandmother - she was an amazing woman who went on to do great things. Her biggest gift to the world was not the Ape House at the Milwaukee County Zoo, or the countless donations to charity. In truth, her biggest gift was that she poured out the love in her heart on everyone she met in a way that could only be described as reckless abandon. It didn't matter if you were the fancy pants CEO or the humble maid, or the guy on the Harley Davidson riding in big parade every summer in Milwaukee - she loved them all. And with all of her heart too.

So in honor of this great lady, Frank Random and I created a special video for her on her 100th birthday, which was back in 2002. Having seen it a million times before (video editing, writing the narration, re-purposing the music etc does take a lot of time and effort you know), I decided to just look out at the crowd as they took it in for the first time. The room was filled with over 100 people easy, and I have never seen so many people well up with tears. You see, when you love people like Grandma did over the course of her 100 years of living well, people have no choice to love you in return. God bless you Grandma. I love you too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sharon Tate as Janet Trego

Back when I was a kid growing up in Milwaukee, I loved to watch the Beverly Hillbillies. As a Wisconsin yokel, one could easily relate to the Tennessee hillbillies who were all too often taken as rubes by the hoitey toity of Beverly Hills, California. In truth, all too often, Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) was as wise as old King Solomon. The show was a huge hit, in spite of the supercilious critics who loved to hate the show.

Well, as a young boy (age 6-8 years old) - I loved the episodes with Miss Jane's assistant Janet Trego, played by Sharon Tate. She was really pretty and had a wonderful innocence about her that I found especially appealing. I was way too young to understand all the sexual innuendo jokes and I was a big fan of her white rain helmet hair, a style worn by many of the young women and mothers of the day. And though I did not really know what it meant, I always thought she was really cool. I had no idea who Roman Polanski was or anything, I was just a kid.

And I will never forget the news one day (August 9, 1969) - when I learned that a lady named Sharon Tate, the actress who played Janet Trego on the show, was murdered. And worse - she was very pregnant when it happened, so her soon to be born baby was also killed in the murder. It is hard to describe how awful such things are in the mind of a young boy, but I remember it to this day. And I was a huge fan of The Beatles too, but for a long time, The White album, filled with songs like Helter Skelter and Little Piggies gave me the creeps for several years. Till I was a teenager - and had grown as creepy as the society I lived in. (for a sample of the times, check out Angels as Hard as They Come, Maybe I'll Come home in the Spring, or Born to Win) - Lots of people thought the "new age" of the 1960s with free love (see Harrad Experiment) and all the new way of thinking was really cool, but as a young kid, I am awful glad my parents were squares.

Anyway - Susan Atkins, the woman who killed Sharon Tate died today of cancer. She was 61. That is all the ink she is going to get from me today. Personally, I would rather remember Sharon Tate, and how I thought she was really pretty when I just a seven year old kid. Nothing nasty like so much of today's world. I just thought she was really pretty, and as one often does at that age, I imagined she was also quite a nice person. Of course I never knew her, but I am happy to remember her today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

William Bonney - Billy The Kid

William Henry Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid was born in New York and as a young boy, moved out west with his family, which was more dysfunctional than most. The history on this man, who died at the young age of 21 is so difficult to unravel because most of what is known about him comes from the sheriff, Pat Garrett who killed him. Garrett's book, The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid was published after Garrett shot Billy with four other guys after Billy escaped his first arrest by Garrett by killing four guys on the break-out. Garrett completely sensationalized the young gunslinger punk and made him out to be a legend, when in fact he was much closer to a nobody, than a somebody in the Wild Wild West. He was more likely from the Mild, Mild West.

And then there's that weird picture which a actually a mirror image of the young outlaw. (here's an even bigger photo of Billy the Kid, who knew there was a color version available?)

Hollywood, as is often the case, made history even weirder. The first big movie about Billy the Kid was a result of Howard Hughes having the hots for Jane Russell. She started in the film, The Outlaw as a sympathetic young girl who was in love with Billy. In an effort to boost publicity, Hughes aircraft engineered a special cantilevered bra for Ms. Russel's ample bosom and provided promo 8x10 glossies of Jane Russell to the newspapers with more cleavage than all the Leave it Beaver episodes combined. She wore one of those floppy peasant girl blouses that have come back in and out of style since time began. As you might expect - the press was outraged, and huge lines formed outside theaters for a simply dreadful movie - just the kind we often like to feature at LikeTelevision. The movie just begs for a mystery science theater treatment.

Wanna get weirder? Well how about Billy the Kid versus Dracula? Huh? yes, John Carradine as Dracula no less. And the film even features Mrs. Olsen, of Folgers coffee fame as a concerned mother - who makes no java for anyone. As I recall, she does die near the mountain grown area, where the flavor of coffee beans is richest. And while the authorities searched for Juan Valdez, the real killer was of course, Carradine. Got it?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 1939 - WWII Begins

On September 1, 1939 - World War II begins as Germany invades Poland. Hard to believe it was only 70 years ago, when the 2nd war to end all wars did not end all wars after all. I mean, my dad is older than that, and I don't consider him to be that old - so in truth, it is not really that long ago after all. As a simple search for WII reveals - there's a lot of movies, tv shows and even cartoons related to World War Two, so we thought it best to highlight some of the best content to watch and save some precious time for our cherished viewers.

For movies - we recommend Roberto Rossellini's Open City, Escape From Sobibor, Forbidden Games and Orson Welles' The Third Man. There are also a bunch of WWII movie documentaries that are quite good but we thought it best to create another short list as there are a bunch to sift through. The top three would probably include - The Battle of Britain, December 7, 1941 and The Battle of Midway, with War Comes to America and The Secret Life of Adolph Hitler as honorable mentions.

In the TV Shows related to World War II, our top picks include - 3 episodes of One Step Beyond, Dream, Emergency Only and Prisoner.

In the cartoon category - we'd like to suggest, Scrap Happy Daffy, The Ductators and Superman in Eleventh Hour. In all honesty - there are a ton of war related cartoons, too many great ones to even list. But allow us to add a few more choice toons to check out. Boom Boom, Superman's Japoteurs (incorrect PC, big time) and Superman's Destruction Inc. Even though it is pre WWII, check out this Popeye classics, I'm in the Army Now. Okay - that should keep you busy for a while. And don't forget to Buy US Bonds.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Facebook - Days of The Primordial Ooze

Whoa - I was able to impress my kids. As any parent knows, or shall I say, a parent who is more interested in being a good parent than a good friend to their children, this is rare air. And for about 5-10 seconds, the duration of their being impressed, I took a deep breath and held it in as long as I could. ahhhhhhh. Exhale.

Here's what impressed them. I told them, girls - your dad was on Facebook over a decade before the founder was born. Incredulous, no way Daddy. Yes... Way! I was able to pull some information from the Wikipedia entry on Mark Zuckerberg, and as we all know - Wikipedia is just like the internet. It is all true (haha). Then I highlighted this part of his bio:
The idea for Facebook came from his days at Phillips Exeter Academy which, like most colleges and prep schools, had a long-standing tradition of publishing an annual student directory with headshot photos of all students, faculty and staff known as the "Facebook".
The truth is, when this old dinosaur went to school at PEA, the Exeter address book was a somewhat new idea. Printing costs had come down, and the concept of an in school address book became a reasonable idea. Thanks to my buddy Whit from Dunbar, I saw this primordial homepage of Facebook from 1974-75 (pic). Back then, we called this - a cover, not a homepage, but that is just semantics. And much to my surprise, whoa - my brother was on the homepage of facebook! And in case you were wondering, my blessed little offspring of nematodes - back then computers looked like this. The year I was born, Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce invented a really fancy thing called an integrated circuit. Noyce founded Intel - which was a new company in 1968. Here's a one minute video history lesson of modern computers- I am certain will leave you laughing, especially that super nifty GPS Garmin wanna be thing in the car.

And once again, thanks to my buddy Whit - I was able to prove my claim, that I was on Facebook well over a decade before the founder Mark Zuckerberg was born. I mean, even to kids today - a picture is worth over a thousand words. Sorry about the focus, but Whit just snapped a quick photo with his cell and uploaded to Facebook using an application in his phone. So my dear, sweet, precious children - I am getting old, and still have every intention of living long enough to be a burden to you... but I ain't THAT olde... yet.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurricane Season History

Even with all the modern updates, we still get slammed by hurricanes from time to time. But it was not that long ago, when there was no warning system at all. The beach could be filled with tourists or locals, the weather gets a little overcast and folks would go about their business as if nothing was out of the ordinary. And then - WHAM. Out of nowhere, a category 4 or category 5 hurricane would blow in and lead to not only massive destruction of property, but also many many thousands casualties.

And, you can thank a guy named Grady Norton, a weather guy pioneer from Miami who worked to create many of the safety features we take for granted today.

Check out this cool episode of a show called Man Behind the Badge for a half hour TV dramatization of Grady Norton and the way they used to try and predict Hurricanes. Pretty interesting, we have come a long way over the last 60 years.

In this show, Grady Norton is played by an actor named Milburn Stone.

In the real world, Grady Norton looked like much more of a mild mannered science nerd.

And here we are in late August 2009. Hurricane Bill has just been upgraded to a category 4. Hmmm, something tells me that old Marvelettes song might come into play. You remember the song - Don't mess with Bill. Here's the latest Bill updates from the National Hurricane Center at NOAA.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to Olde School Special

As a child born in the 1950s, I have been having this weird deja-vu experience, wondering to myself if I am in some kind of time warp or something. Growing up as a kid in the 1960s made the whole "revolution thing" kinda weird. I was very young, and actually was innocent too - which is nothing remarkable for children below the age of ten. So people doing drugs, experimenting with free love, and all the peace, love beautiful experience was at best, admirable yet quirky and at worst, gross and creepy. (see Born to Win Trailer for further clarification). And as I listen to people talk on TV about current politics - sorry - but it all has a familiar ring to it. Nice in theory, but people are still those pesky human creatures in spite of the best altruistic intentions. (Despotism or Democracy? provides an interesting angle on this).

To further clarify the point I am trying to make - check out a few movies from back in the 1970s that in retrospect seem downright idiotic. First up - The Harrad Experiment, featuring Tippi Hedron and Don Johnson, the film was all about free love and the desire to express our sexuality without the hassles of marriage - which really just made "us possessive and jealous in our expressions of love". Yeah - just fine thinking - unless you are a child of divorce. From that perspective, it just seems like you have self-absorbed parents who should have been more concerned about the kids "needs" than their own. It gets weird. Don Johnson is a student at Harrad College, where the kids are schooled in free love. Don wants to have sexual relations with a teacher, Tippi Hedron - who undresses herself to try and scare him away. Like I said - weird. Want weirder? In the real world - years later, Don Johnson would marry Melanie Griffith - who was Tippi Hedron's daughter. And don't fret about difficulty at holiday gatherings. They got divorced.

Now before you start thinking I am some kind of Joe Friday, you know, a square who works for "the man" type - rest assured I went through the teenage experience with unbridled passion for hippies, peace, love and all kinds of anti-capitalist ideology. At Duke, I took classes in Socialism and Communism, thinking it was a potential answer to the problems of the world. Jimi Hendrix was my favorite musician, I had an oversized libido (see Guido's Libido) like everyone else, and I might very well have tried a few pharmaceuticals that were not prescribed by my attending physician.

You see, from my befuddled perspective - both sides have a point, but it does no good when nobody is listening. For example - sexuality is a wonderful blessing and gift, and I love children - but is it right that I am subjected to old people in bathtubs musing about hooking up while trying to watch tv with my young daughter. Sorry - make it go away - please. And how could you do that do an Elvis movie about Vegas? Stop it.

And for those who have no recourse but to call people who disagree with them racists - go check out a few movie blasts from the past. The Klansman, is a really creepy, annoying, contrived, preachy film reduced to silliness. And then the real world makes it even weirder. The film features a scene where Linda Evans is raped by O.J. Simpson, who later tries to escape while holding a knife to Richard Burton's throat. The getaway car? - oh my, would you believe it is a Ford Bronco. I believe Martin Luther King's dream (see some MLK video snippets from the I Have a dream speech) - and the Bob Marley song, War - where he wished for a day when the color of a man's skin was of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And I like this dream, and I share in Dr. King's hope that is becomes reality. But calling people racist because they disagree with another man's views who has a different skin color - belittles the indelible images in my brain, of defenseless Black people getting slammed by blasting water from firehouses in a peaceful protest. It cheapens the courage of Rosa Parks, it makes light of a hard and long battle fought by your grandparents and their grandparents before them.

And war is wrong and terrible. (Grand Illusion, Forbidden Games, search for War) No two ways around it. Yet sometimes - a good man must fight to defend the rights of his family and children. Don't buy that? Watch Escape From Sobibor and convince yourself that good men should do nothing. It is not so easy as black and white.

In conclusion - I wish we would spend more time listening to another person's views, rather than shouting louder with this week's talking points. In most cases - both sides have valid things to say, that are heartfelt and true. And as Flannery O'Connor once said - The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.

And if this is way too serious - let me say, fine with me. I would rather laugh watching some early George Carlin doing the Hippy Dippy Weatherman.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Maximilian Kolbe - August 14th

Each year on August 14 - there's a celebration and memorial of a wonderful man you probably never even heard of. His name was Maximilian Kolbe and he was a Catholic priest in Poland during World War II. During the war, Catholic priests were marked for death by the nazis, and Max was no exception to this rule. But Max was exceptionally wicked as far as any nazi was concerned. His crimes also included trying to harbor Jews and to try and get them out safely. But that is not why he is honored today.

He lived a very good life as a priest - a Franciscan, ordained in Rome, and did much more in his life - but he is honored not so much for his life, but for his heroic death. The nazis sent him to Auschwitz, and someone tried to escape. The punishment for this included not only death for the prisoner trying to escape, but the nazis decided that someone else must be killed as well - just to make the point that escaping was not a good idea. When a father of several children was selected to be killed and tortured for the escape - Fr. Max Kolbe asked to be killed and tortured in his place, telling the guards - he had no family - so please take me instead. And he was brutally tortured, and finally died from the torture. And Fr. Kolbe knew what was coming, yet he still chose to volunteer his life for the young father of several children.

The Catholic church at first was a bit perplexed as to whether or not to honor Max Kolbe as a martyr - because he volunteered to die. But, in the end he was designated as a martyr, specifically, a martyr of charity. Years later, when the church was planning to beatify Kolbe as a saint - the father whose life was spared many years before - spent most of his life's savings to attend the ceremony.

To honor Max Kolbe today - we thought we'd suggest a powerful movie in the movie library you might have missed. Escape from Sobibor, starring Alan Arkin, Rutger Hauer, and Joana Pacula - tells the story of the most successful escape from a concentration camp in Poland during World War II. Yep - another great story you probably never heard about. If time allows - check it out, it is a great film, and an even better story.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beer Summit - The Conference at Malta

Time for a beer summit of our own at LikeTelevision - yep, it looks like the time is right - it just turned beer thirty. And today we have an incredible cast of characters joining us today. PLUS this lovely portrait taken by an olde artist at a beer session with a dog - be careful not to tip the Cold Nukie lil fella!

Our dear chum - W.C. Fields starts off the tap with - A Fatal Glass of Beer. Now, no worries as Mr. Fields has been dead for some time now. Not sure - I think Mae West might have devoured him a few decades back after she objected to being called a chickadee.

And sorry folks - ain't no way we are going with a Budweiser. Not gonna happen - sheesh, it is made outta rice and this is a beer summit, not a Saki Session with Sushi. And we are not really that interested in Blue Moon or a Red Stripe either, though we have always been big fans of Jamaica, especially the Sunsplash Music Festival in late summer in honor of Bob Marley. For our taste - we prefer a cool Newcastle, a Bass Ale and if we want something light - few brewskis top the PBR, or Pabst Blue Ribbon to the uninitiated.

But - lest we forget, we are olde school here - so let's get some top picks from back in the day. Well - Colt 45 (Skydiving) or Colt 45 (Surfing) has got to be way up near the top. Besides having some awesome commercials, it tasted pretty good and believe it or not, we were in a band that had a slight twist on the name. The band was called Cult 45 - and was known for the ridiculous album cover (Will design web pages for beer). The top radio cuts off the vinyl were Popemobile and Turn Me on Dead Man. Now before you get your opus dei cilice all tangled up in your panties, another name in NASCAR for new tires is Virgin Rubber and we are from the south, where people actually like shrimp with grits.... so Chill Ace. You will have to listen to Popemobile to understand what the heck I am talking about.

And to wrap it up - one of our favorite beer commercials from back in the sweet days of gentle women happy to go get us guys a beer while we relaxed in the hammock --- ahhh. Was it so long ago. I do miss the days when women were actually less ambitious and obnoxious as men - but that was then and this is now. Remember back with this Carling Black Label beer classic.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Old School Horror Movies

Back when I was a kid, we'd watch scary movies at the local theater or on Shock Theater, which came on every Saturday at 2 PM. This was a great way to spend some time. Sure, most of the movies were pretty schlock-y, and not really that scary - but that was part of the fun. Back then, two of the greats in the horror movie genre were Vincent Price and Roger Corman. And sometimes, the two collaborated and this combination was almost always a treat for the avid fan. We decided to highlight one of the best for the upcoming weekend - but first, we thought we should offer a few older classics you might have missed.

If you have never seem The Last Man on Earth or Theater of Blood, you are missing two of Vincent Price's best films. Please, take the time and see the horror master at the peak of his long and storied career. Another film also seems timely - given all the yammering about health care reform. Check out Shock, for a view of old school health care horror stories. HA!

As for Roger Corman, you really have to check out Little Shop of Horrors and Bucket of Blood, both of which offer fun stories and also a great snapshot of the era when they were filmed. Bucket of Blood is especially fun, with the beatnik poet lounge where people are all pretentious about their art. LikeTelevision offers many more Roger Corman films too. Personally, I am a big fan of all his work. He was the master of making a film with almost money to do so.

And now for the weekend featured film - Tales of Terror. A cool old school horror classic featuring a collaboration of Roger Corman working with Vincent Price, serving up three short stories from the master of scary prose, Edgar Allen Poe. No, you are going to loads of severed limbs or have your senses assaulted by bloody body parts. This old school scary, which asks you to have a little imagination. Think you can handle it? I hope so. Enjoy the show.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Man on the Moon Videos

I remember July 20, 1969 quite well. I was nine years old at the time, and was woken up in the middle of the night by my dad to watch something historic. I had no idea what historic meant, but I was old enough to understand that some men landing on the moon was pretty amazing. The TV picture was really grainy, even for the TVs of the day which were quite prehistoric compared to today's models. Heck, we often used tin foil on the rabbit ears (the antennae) to try and get better reception. We watched it on a big RCA color tv and it was the only tv in the house that worked well. HA - times sure have changed huh? Check out the newsreel video of the moon landing and imagine for a minute what that day was like for kids all over the world.

To mark this historic day - we thought you might enjoy a few classic movies and tv shows related to the moon, space travel, and aliens. First up - check out the classic serial, Radar Men From the Moon starring Clayton Moore, best known for his role as the Lone Ranger. In this serial, he plays a thug for the evil radar men from the moon. It is really funny, but in the day, it was actually supposed to be scary. Another classic on space travel is The First Spaceship to Venus. Again, this is funny, though it was not supposed to be. Speaking of Venus, check out this music video from the great Unknown Hinson called Venus Bound. Want more - no problem. Check out Planet Outlaws, starring Buster Crabb and Killer from Space is awesome! It stars Peter Graves and a bunch of aliens with ping pong ball eyes. If you are looking for something a little more modern, we would suggest Brother from Another Planet and a Peter Jackson alien classic called Bad Taste.

And from the classic tv channel - please check out the Burns and Allen episode titled Space Patrol Girls. FUNNY STUFF! There's also a few Flash Gordon tv shows to review, our top pick is Akim the Terrible. If you enjoy all things weird as much as we do - check out this old cheerios V-8 tv commercial offering a free spaceship game with your box of cherios. And oh yeah, have a V-8 with that too. and speaking of tv commercials - yep, there was an astronaut doll for young boys named Major Matt Mason. And let's not forget Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

There is so much space related video at LikeTelevision, honestly there's not enough time to write about all of it - just search for space and you will busy for hours. Or search for moon. And when that gets old, try a search for aliens for even more movies and tv shows from the great beyond.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baseball Back in the Day

As the baseball season takes a mid-season break for the All-Star game, we thought it would be fun to highlight some great baseball related video content from back in the day. You know, those glorious days before steroids, multimillion dollar contracts and those pesky agents, the era when baseball really was our National Pastime. The bygone days of Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth, and Joe Dimaggio and cheap seats. So break out your weber grill, soak a few brats in beer, and enjoy the big show.

If you are looking for drama, meaning cool stories that are very enjoyable but not funny, then watch a free online movie like The Jackie Robinson Story, Paul Newman in Bang the Drum Slowly, and The Lou Gehrig Story. Also an interesting movie, though not really about baseball per se is The Marilyn Monroe Story - which features some interesting footage of The Yankee Clipper, Jolting Joe Dimaggio. And here's a short news clip about the day when Joe Dimaggio married Marilyn Monroe.

If humor is more what you are looking for - check out the Clampetts vs. The Dodgers. Leo Durocher of the L.A. Dodgers plays himself, and he's very impressed with Jethro's throwing arm. Hidden in the You Asked for It video archive is an episode featuring Max Patkin, the clown prince of baseball. Though you might not have heard of him, back in the day - Max was a legend. LikeTelevision's video library also offers a few choice baseball related TV commercials - 1) Baseball & Razor Blades, features some big stars from days gone by selling razors. Baseball greats like Pee Reese, Roy Campenella and yes, even Don Zimmer as a young guy - way before the day a few years back when he got slammed to the ground as an old guy by Pedro Martinez in the American League Championship game in 2003. 2) A 1960s Coke commercial featuring the great Willie Mays taking a big chug of Coke. Yeah - back in the days when Coke was just a soft drink.

Need more baseball video content? Just search for Baseball. So - if the All-Star Game tonight gets boring, by all means come by and watch some classic content from the glory days of Baseball.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla

July 10, 1856 - Nikola Tesla was born in Vojna Krajina, which is now part of Croatia. Tesla was probably the greatest inventor, scientist and electrical engineer of his day, if not of all time, though because he was a decent, honest and eccentric fellow, I regret most people hardly even know of him. But you can thank Tesla every time you plug something into your wall socket, turn on a radio, and use a little electricity. You can learn more about his life at the Tesla Society, Wikipedia, or of course, Google. Yeah - you know Tesla has coils, but did you know Tesla also has a cool car named after him? Or, that LikeTelevision named their first server after Tesla?

To honor our hero today on his birthday - we thought we'd highlight some cool videos that were inspired by Nikola Tesla's genius. First - check out a few classic Superman episodes - Electronic Earthquake and Magnetic Telescope. Both these terrific cartoons feature some mondo electronic gear inspired by Tesla's ideas. For a vintage look at some Tesla Coils - you can check out Fritz Lang's Metropolis, or the hilarious old serial called the Lost City.

If you asked most people in the US - who gave us electricity?, most would answer Thomas Edison. In truth - Edison almost killed it for all of us. Of course it took a lot of people to make it happen, but if you had to credit just one guy, that man would most surely be - Nikola Tesla. Happy Birthday Mr. Tesla!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Helen Keller

On June 27, 1880 Helen Keller was born as a normal kid in Alabama - but due to an illness at 19 months, that was probably either scarlet fever or meningitis, she was left without the ability to see or to hear, and yet she lived one of the most amazing lives in the course of human history. As a young child, she was befriended by Martha Washington the 6 year old daughter of the family cook , who was crucial in the journey of Helen's life that allowed her to transcend the darkness of being blind, deaf, and unable to speak. We all know the name of Anne Sullivan, but no one seems to remember this lovely six year old child - so I will mention her name again - Martha Washington. As is often the case, people forget how important kids can be to others in life and it is never too early to start being a good person. Martha's friendship with Helen helped her to create a very simple sign language that allowed her to communicate with her family, and it seems pretty obvious that this played a vital role in Helen's life in years to come.

Helen's parents worked hard to do all they could to help Helen - searching for the right doctors, a visit to Alexander Graham Bell who was working with deaf children, and finally at age seven, Anne Sullivan came to the Keller house to help Helen learn how to communicate. Anne Sullivan, a young 20 year old who was also visually impaired, worked hard to teach Helen how to communicate by spelling words with her hand - simple formations that represented each letter of the alphabet. The big breakthrough came was Helen was able to spell the word - water, which was brilliantly portrayed in the movie - The Miracle Worker, starring Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen.

Helen would go on to be the first blind deaf person to earn a college. She attended Radcliffe, which at the time was the "girl" sister school of Harvard. Many many more accomplishments were in store for Helen in her life, some of which are chronicled in the newsreel footage below. (from This day in History - June 1, the day Helen Keller died in 1968).


But for me, her life's story is really the amazing part - in addition to some of the wonderful quotes she had regarding life. She was a very wise woman, having learned a great deal early in life, about how to live. I will leave you with just a few of my Helen Keller quotes. Think about these, next time you consider being such a fool, as to offer a Helen Keller joke. The joke is on you if your heart becomes so cold.

Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.
Helen Keller

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. Helen Keller

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Helen Keller

It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision
. Helen Keller

Many more terrific Helen Keller quotes can be found here. Better still - check out Helen Keller's book - The Story of My Life - online at Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June Weddings Video Archive

Well - it's June again, and June is the month jam packed full of weddings. I will be out for the rest of the week in New York for a super duper, mondo NY wedding. So, in honor of this celebration of love - let me put offer a few suggestions of our best wedding related video content. Royal Wedding with Fred Astaire, Jane Powell and Peter Lawford is a classic - it's the movie where Fred dances on the walls and the ceiling, created in a special room that could rotate slightly with the best dancer of all time. And who could forget - Mountain Wedding, with Ernest T. Bass, Barney Fife dressed in a bride outfit and some killer jug band bluegrass with the Dillards. Need more? Check out the Woody Allen special for a vintage wedding musical classic, and if animation is your bag, look no further than Popeye in Bride and Gloom. PLUS some archive footage of Princess Grace Kelly at her wedding, Prince Charles and Lady Di, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and much more. Just search for wedding and watch till your eyes get tired.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day Remebered

While most of our users are pretty young, some of them are old enough to remember June 6, 1941 with the proper respect and the cost of the freedom we enjoy today. It is a price measured in blood and tears. I encourage our younger users to give up 60 seconds - and to watch this short video clip remembering the sacrifices of D-Day. LikeTelevision would like to thank you for what you went through. We give you respect and honor your place in history. With a humble heart, and great admiration - thanks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Quai Chang & Koko

Yesterday was an especially tough day - as the world lost David Carradine and Koko Taylor, no relation to sheriff Andy Taylor. When i was a young wild man in my late teens, I had the chance to see Koko Taylor in a small bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, playing with a terrific back-up band called The Blues Machine. I remember the show like it was yesterday, and anyone who had the chance to see Koko Taylor perform live knows exactly why. She sang with such a passion it was unforgettable. Life changing, somebody get my jaw off the floor, WOW !!! Honestly, I never even knew people had that kind of passion within them until I saw Koko Taylor perform. She came on at 11pm and played ON FIRE - for over 4 hours. She was sweating like an Alabama work crew in 100 degree weather, and she was just one person. Honestly - sweat was literally flying off of her into the crowd, and not only did you not mind, you felt blessed by Holy Water. WOW !!! It was beyond anything Rod Serling of Twilight Zone could even imagine. She sang her brains out, and her heart out, and every cell of her body just screamed... YEAH! How do like that! If there was any doubt that Rock 'n Roll heaven has a hell of band... doubt no more.

And when I was a kid, I will always remember waiting all day Wednesday for Kung Fu to come on. There were so many amazing episodes - my favorites included the one where the the bad guy wanted a gold chalice from the poor Catholic church and attacked grasshopper with some massive chains. And the one with a 18 or 19 year old Don Johnson as an American Indian was also very memorable. I think my favorite was the episode featuring a very young Jodie Foster whose name was Alethia, which Quai Chang told her meant truth. One of those - perception is reality things going on, and she had to tell the truth. And her truth was based on her angle of vision, where it sure looked like grasshopper shot a guy. Anyway, it was very sad to hear of his death and worse, the circumstances surrounding his death. If you are a David Carradine fan - check out this bizarre 1970s classic preachy movie called Maybe I'll Come in the Spring, and learn why the hippy dippy generation was such a load of crappola. Like peace, love and wow man, I got no money - let me steal some tacos (watch it, it'll make sense). But, that said - well the George Carlin as the Hippy Dippy Weatherman was awesome! We also offer a bunch of movies with David Carradine's famous thesbian father - John Carradine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sara Takes a Dive

On Sunday - May 31st, my dear friend Sara and I felt compelled to jump out of a plane with no parachute. Yes - we obviously survived, this is Wednesday after all. For me, this was my third trip to Skydive Carolina(1-800-SKYDIVE) and once again, B.B. King was nowhere to be found - the thrill is NOT gone. (for a trip down memory lane, see Jump 1.0 and Jump 2.0)


At some point - I will add this video to the video database, but right now we are slammed like a pizza delivery kid on Friday night. Soon come, as they say in Jamaica.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lawrence of Arabia Motorcycle Crash, May 18, 1935

On May 19, 1935, T.E. Lawrence, an avid biker who favored Brough Superior bikes, died in a motorcycle accident near his cottage in Dorset. He was just 46 years old, and he died as he swerved to avoid hitting 2 boys on bicycles, lost control and went over the handlebars. Check out this newsreel, with some brief footage of T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. (ed. note - oddly enough, I was also in a bad motorcycle accident as a 46 year old, trying to avoid a young kid who was making an illegal left turn on a side street into oncoming traffic... me :~) And thankfully, I didn't die, but it was really close. And years before that, I wrote a song called funky motorcycle(mp3 download) produced by Frank Random in my garage circa 1995.)

If you'd like to learn more about T.E. Lawrence, check out wikipedia's extensive entry, or better still, read one of his books, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. This book was edited by his friend, George Bernard Shaw. And David Lean's movie, Lawrence of Arabia is a great film, sorry - an amazing film, one of the best but not the best source to learn about the man.

Also of note today, May 19 - a young girl named Janet Gaynor cleaned up on the first Oscar night, winning three Academy Awards in one evening, for her role in A Star is Born.

LikeTelevision Embed Movies and TV Shows

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Frank Sinatra Movie

How cool! Martin Scorsese is planning on directing a new movie about one of Hollywood's greatest stars - Frank Sinatra. And in a rare twist - it seems this film has gotten the okay from the Sinatra Estate as Tina Sinatra, Frank's youngest daughter (not to be confused with Nancy, these boots were made for Walking, Sinatra) will be an executive producer on the project. Now - who will play old blue eyes? hmmm. Tough shoes to fill there buddy.

So - why not get ready for the new movie by checking out some timeless classics starring Frank Sinatra. My personal favorite is The Man with the Golden Arm starring Kim Novak and Eleanor Parker. In addition to a killer sound track by Elmer Bernstein, you get Arnold Stang in a classic role as Frankie Machine's sidekick. Another awesome Sinatra movie is Suddenly - where Frank plays a would be assassin looking to kill the President in a quiet little town called Suddenly. Great film! Need more? got it. Check out a TV special starring Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis jr. and others saying hello to Elvis Presley as he returns home from the US army, sponsored by Timex, the watches that can take a licking and keep on ticking in ye olde John Cameron Swayze days. Also recommended highly - Till the Clouds Roll By, a movie tribute to the great composer Jerome Kern that features a ton of amazing artists including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Lena Horne.

And there's more video clips too in addition to the Frank Sinatra movies. Just search for Frank Sinatra and check it out if you are a Sinatra fan like we are.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slaughterhouse 5

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5 is one of my favorite movies, and one of those rare movies that actually does a pretty decent job of doing justice to a great book. And considering what a big Vonnegut fan I am, and always have been - that's saying something. Let's face it - this is one really weird story, with time tripping travels, aliens, and life choices that happen the same way, like a an old vinyl album that keeps playing the great music you never grow tired of. I think I have seen this movie maybe 5 or 6 times, and you know what... i am really looking forward o watching it again.

Michael Sacks plays the lead character Billy Pilgrim, a guy who is as normal and non hollywood as it gets. He played a new more roles in movies, but for the most part, he will always be remembered as Billy Pilgrim, and he does an amazing job in the role. There are a few noteworthy actors including Holly Near who plays Barbara Pilgrim and Valerie Perrine as Montana Wildhack, but for the most part - there are no great stars in this movie, which actually makes it better because you are not distracted by their star quality. These are just normal folks stuck in an extraordinary story. Being an old coot - I always have a laugh about Eugene Roche who plays Edgar Derby. You see, as a kid - Eugene Roche was a recurring character on a bunch of commercials, most memorable for me as the guy on the Ajax Cleanser commercials. So, in his case - I was a little distracted. ahaha.

But if you a fan of weird movies like me, in the same vein as The Big Lebowski, or Slingblade, or Best in Show - you will just love Slaughterhouse 5. The film is directed by George Roy Hill, and the Vonnegut novel was adapted into a screenplay by Stephen Geller. Enough of the blah, blah blah... go watch the movie.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20th, 1979 - Jimmy Carter, the Rabbit , & Nuclear Sub U.S.S. Jimmy Carter

Each year as April 20th rolls by, I have a lot on my mind. Lots of weird stuff happened on this day - Hitler was born, my mom was born, Columbine - ok, sorry mom, I am wrong to group your sweet maternal nature with infamy - haha, but for me, the weirdest thing that happened on April 20th, took place in 1979 in a creepy swamp with a former US president, Jimmy Carter, our only president who is on record as saying he saw a U.F.O. Huh? - here's the official report - I am not saying whether it was true or not, heck - lots of aliens are crossing our borders every day from what I hear in the news.

You see, what took place on April 20th, 1979 doesn't involve aliens - but a rare killer rabbit variety, and the time travel of a nuclear submarine - the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter. It was some sort of ***Leporine Conspiracy Theory! (see below for more "ine" type of words). You see, we never really got the whole story, but a picture is worth a 1000 words, though photoshop has done a lot to reduce that to maybe, a few hundred.

the link above, and this one here is a bigger version of the original snapshot taken by Anne Ominous in 1979.

Notice the lilliputian size of the sailors on the bridge of the sub, and how the official story from the Carter library, and this one here - leaves out the important facts surrounding the case, as bizarre as seeing a U.F.O. in an official report, and then going on to become President. Eye Popping. or Poopeyeing perhaps.

When I first blogged about this story in 2005 - I actually found some of these killer rabbits in my garden on April 20th. And in more synchronous weirdness, my mom - who was born on April 20th, always tried to raise the little bunnies she found in her garden. We would get an eyedropper, some carot juice and feed the little guys till they got bigger. Then the rabbits would be released at Doctor's Park in Milwaukee, in hopes of them finding a nice home away from mom's flowers. Later I wondered... if one of there grew up to be THE killer rabbit that attacked our President on April 20th, 1979. Being pretty conservative, I knew it would have made my mom happy if this were the case. Come on now - no one was hurt.

Anyway... in 2005, LikeTelevision declared that from here on out April 20th would forever be remembered as our National Rabbit Day. Here’s some media clips you might wanna watch to celebrate our Leporine Laugh Fest. Giant Jack Rabbit - Granny thinks a kangeroo is a Texas sized rabbit - and she wants to have it for dinner (vittles - which in this case, is Hillbilly for Hasenpfeffer). Check out Betty in Blunderland - as Betty Boop chases the White Rabbit in a whacko Wonderland fantasy. (huh - go ask Alice, I think she’ll know). Or if you want politically incorrect Hasenpfeffer - whew - here ya go. At most times, we keep this cartoon hidden, as it is really offensive - but for this blog post, it has been resurrected from the dead. (if toads are your thing, check this). Speaking of politically incorrect - part three of Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game offers a brutal old school Europe rabbit hunt. The film - created by the famous painter’s son (Auguste Renoir is the painter… Jean Renoir, director) is all about LOVE - and it is not about rabbits, though they have some bit parts. (and their parts are blown to bits too). And of course - there is more stuff to watch for National Rabbit Day - but make sure you check out Doggone Tired, a Tex Avery classic cartoon you might have missed.

***For those not well versed in the *.ine type animal stuff.... here's a few to whet your whistle.
feline | cat
canine | dog
equine | horse
bovine | cow
porcine | pig
ovine | sheep
avian | bird
ursine | bear
lupine | wolf
murine | mouse
vulpine | fox
aquiline | eagle
anserine | goose
asinine | ass
cervine | deer
elephantine | elephant
leoline | lion
leporine | rabbit
limacine | slug
pavonine | peacock
phocine | seal
serpentine | serpent (i always think of Alan Arkin as Shelly Korpett, D.D.S from The In-Laws whenever i hear that word - Serpentine!).

Coming up next... some killer music!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Related Videos At LikeTelevision

Here's an older post... that works as well today as last year around the same time. Wooo eeee! Check out some TV comedy classics about the tax man. First place goes to Granny, who is ready to shoot the revenue man since he might also wanna mess with her still by the cement pond that makes her Spring Tonic. The episode is called Jed Pays His Taxes. Now imagine the I.R.S. has a worst nightmare, what would that person be like. Well look no further - I think Grace Allen would win this prize. Check out 2 hilarious episodes where Gracie's spacey intellect get the best of The Tax Man and the Property Tax Assessor.

You might also want to check out the Frank Random preview of My Man Godfrey, where Eugene Pallette laments that his family spends 50% of his income while the federal government want 60% for taxes. One final tax video concerns Al Capone, who went to jail for tax evasion.

Ooops, we forgot to mention this yesterday - but April 14th is the day the Titanic sunk after it hit an iceberg. Make sure you check out the One Step Beyond episode about the Titanic called the Night of April 14th. We offer that episode with 2 other episodes as a DVD iso download to subscribers or a la carte

Monday, April 6, 2009

Original The Fast and The Furious

Back in the day, the auto industry made some amazing cars. Gasoline cost about a dime a gallon, and no one much cared about the price of gas - the focus was on style, muscle and speed. So let's go back to the glory days of auto racing for a moment when cars were a good deal, and better still - they were really, really fast with monster sized engines.

America began its love affair with cars in the 1950s - and the original version of The Fast and The Furious is a car lover's dream come true. The film starred a rugged John Ireland as Frank Webster, a fugitive on the run from the police for a crime he didn't commit. In fact he was framed and had to go under cover as a guy named Bill Myers, looking for a ride in an automobile race that would get him past the police blockade. His femme fatale was Connie Adair, played by Dorothy Malone. Back then, way before Danika Patrick became an Indy driver - well, the boys just didn't allow the girls to race. Connie Adair had a great car, but due to her female restriction she needed a driver, and Bill Myers arrived to come to the rescue. He was a truck driving fugitive, but man could he go fast. He just cruises in the trials and Connie decides to give Bill a chance.

And of course, this being the movies, she falls in love with him. Lots of steamy kisses and passionate embraces, coupled with the roar of cars with 8, and sometimes even 12 cylinders. Most of the cars in the film have become collectible vintage speedsters, some with price tags over a million dollars, because they looked really cool and better still, the cars went really fast. So just set aside your worries about carbon footprints, and marvel at the raw power and speeds of these early automobile treasures. A very enjoyable film on many levels - check out the original The Fast and the Furious.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring

HOORAY - March 21 +/- a day marks the time when the sun’s direct rays move into the northern hemisphere (which is where we hang out) and as such, marks the first day of spring. Like a Vernal Equinox, 'eh? Since LikeTelevision is from North Carolina - we always take this opportunity to watch Granny’s Spring Tonic, where Granny cooks up the seasons first batch of “shine” - what we call moonshine round here. Peaches, strawberries, plums or other fruits are floating in a super sweet brown liquid stored in a ball jar. Now before the folks at ATF get all riled up and bring Janet Reno out of retirement with her flame thrower - it is all gone. A very good year too. I think Granny is hitting the jug a little quick as the shine tastes best about 2 years after it is brewed. And since we live near Mooresville, the true home of Nascar and moonshine running drivers from days gone by - yep, we do have a clue.

More spring related content, Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring, featuring Sally Field as a washed up hippie who decides to come home after the commune style of life wears thin. See David Carradine as real turkey and Jackie Cooper is the tough but loving father, well kind of. He is also a bit older from early Hollywood days with the Little Rascals (see Bear Shooters for a sample).

Another fun cartoon - is To Spring, where some crazy elves use all kinds of colors to paint the landscape. And who could forget the Raggedy Ann classic, Suddenly It’s Spring. Finally - check out Betty Boop doing a bit of spring cleaning.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bud the Cowboy

I got the following story in an email and thought it was actually funny enough to read and pass on. It is called Bud the Cowboy.

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?"

Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra high resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored.. He then accesses a MYSQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says Bud.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required." answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about how working people make a living - or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.

Now give me back my dog.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Skooter Goes to Black Mountain

Skooter is back home again from Asheville and Black Mountain on his journey for Lent, to do some video mixing for a live music performance from Buzz from Ohio, with his buddy Chris. Produced by Dr Barre, audio engineer Frank Random, and special thanks to Jake working camera, light director, & audio second. Hey, he's young and still has the energy and umm, colorful language too. What's not to like? He works very hard.

Check out the new picture album for Asheville too. Not only a bunch of new photos from the road, but a bunch of code dialed in thanks to Brad, our resident code yoda.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Robot Sweatshop Podcast: "Watchmen" Movie Review & Discussion

Hi folks,

In addition to my pop culture ramblings here at Like Television, I also host a pop culture themed podcast called Robot Sweatshop. Since we've had some discussions and posts here about movies and comics, I thought I'd let you know about our newest episode, which may be of interest.

Co-host Chris Bacolo, special guest Jen Giarratana, and myself sit down for a discussion on Watchmen, the film and the comic, minutes after seeing the movie for the first time. I've read the comic twice; Chris finished reading it literally just before seeing the film; and Jen has never seen or read even a panel of it.

Three points of view. But are there three different verdicts on the film? Listen and find out.

Here are some handy links, if you're interested:

Download this episode

Discuss this episode

Subscribe at iTunes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Scooter is Alabama Bound

Check out the Scooter's journey during Lent. Today... Alabama Bound. You can track him as he rolls down the highway, just send a request to track at and wait for a bit fro Scooter to approve you. After approval, go to and click the igoogle link in the upper right corner of the page to see a map, with Scooter updates as he heads down the road.

You can also read about the trip at: Happy Trails.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cinematic Titanic Live in Boston

Our love of all things Mystery Science Theater 3000 on this site is well documented, and that love definitely includes Cinematic Titanic, MST3K creator Joel Hodgson's new B-movie riffing venture. For Cinematic Titanic, Joel gathered several MST3K vets, including Trace Beaulieu (Crow, Dr. Forrester), Frank Conniff (TV's Frank), Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), and J. Elvis Weinstein (the original Tom Servo). It's been great to have them back, wits as sharp, biting and hilarious as ever.

Cinematic Titanic visited Boston on February 20th and 21st as part of a live riffing mini-tour; we deemed this Too Awesome To Miss, and made the trek from Brooklyn for the Saturday show. The movie being riffed, as we learned right before it began, was a '70s Kung Fu-sploitation wonder called The Dynamite Brothers. It was racist and nonsensical and features a scene where one dude handcuffed to another manages to somehow take his shirt off. 'Nuff said.

I was curious as to how it would feel to see movie riffing done before an audience -- after all, MST3K and Cinematic Titanic are relatively quiet shows -- and whether or not it would really work.

But I need not have worried; in short, it was hilarious and an overall awesome experience. The theater was packed (I'm guessing it was sold out), and the audience was among the warmest I've ever seen. We were laughing at the riffs and at the movie itself; best of all, we got to meet the whole cast after the show, all of whom were insanely nice and took time to chat, take pictures, and sign autographs. Photo report below -- but in case you were wondering -- Cinematic Titanic live scores an easy A.

The Somerville Theatre marquee. This was a beautiful, old fashioned theater with a very warm look and feel. It was just the type of place we were hoping it would be in our pre-show, overly-excited, geeky discussions.

Inside the lobby a few minutes before showtime. The place was packed.

Comedian David "Gruber" Allen -- you might know him as the guidance counselor from Freaks and Geeks -- warms up the crowd. Dave's not a member of the Cinematic Titanic crew, but has appeared in some episodes, and was awesome.

J. Elvis Weinstein took the stage, armed with a bass, and performed a routine with Dave about a radio station that only plays the catchiest moments of songs for our short-attention span culture. The name of the station? K-ADD, of course!

Next up, Frank Conniff -- who I think is possibly one of the funniest people alive -- greets the crowd.

Joel received the biggest ovation, and even brought with him an invention exchange: a small sampler that only plays "Happy Together," torn out of a Valentine's Day card. When played by one's zipper, it creates a "party in your pants." Genius. The Mads could never top that one!

The lights go down before the Cinematic Titanic crew does what they do best.

At the end of the show, the cast bowed to a standing ovation. But they weren't done! For an encore, they performed "a best of Cinematic Titanic" to clips of the show's funniest moments, with scenes taken from every Cinematic Titanic episode. Even watching them out of context, it was very, very funny.

The line forms, which I'm all but sure included the entire #$@%ing audience, for the post-show meet-and-greet. (It actually moved at a pretty decent clip, and everyone was really friendly.)

The aforementioned line keeps going.

We finally make it to meet-and-greet area, catch a glimpse of the cast...

...and are psyched.

Me and the great Trace Beaulieu. Trace was really, really nice, and took time to actually ask me about my shirt. Are all Minnesotans this cool? (We're not used to things like "eye contact" and "friendly conversation" here in Brooklyn.)

Joel and Frank with a very happy fan. The end!