Thursday, December 9, 2010
Though I am no fan of cold weather, or the winter months in general - Christmas is always a fun time of year. It is a time of hope and also renewal. It is a time and pause and to try and make sure all of us are doing our best to spread peace on Earth, and manifest this in one's effort to show Good Will Towards all.
For the Christmas season, we offer a bunch of terrific Christmas related video content, just search for Christmas to see most. But here are some of our all-time favorites. The original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is always a lot of fun. And there are also a few Beverly Hillbillies episodes too, my favorites are Christmas at the Clampetts and Home for Christmas. But my favorite Christmas TV special has got to be Dragnet's Big Little Jesus. Someone has made off with the baby Jesus from the church;s nativity scene, and Joe Friday has less than 24 hours to find it before the Christmas morning mass.
For movies, by all means check out the camp classic, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Another good film with a Christmas theme is a Frank Capra classic called Meet John Doe. If you enjoyed Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, you will enjoy this film.
Here's a few final staff picks to keep you busy when it's too cold to go outside. The Little Rascals' Tough Winter, Snow Foolin', Christmas Comes but Once a Year, Caste in Bronze, Jack Frost, and a Howdy Doody Christmas.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thanksgiving is always a fun holiday. And yes, I think it is a good idea to stop and be thankful for whatever you have to be thankful for, in good times and difficult times even more so. It is easy to get too focused with things that are not perfect, challenging or downright difficult. But even then there is always something to be thankful for. In any event - we wish you all a joyful and happy thanksgiving.
Here's a few fun thanksgiving holiday related videos to watch. First, one of my favorites is from the Beverly Hillbillies, titled Turkey Day from 1962. It has just about everything you might want from a TV special for Thanksgiving - family, a turkey, pilgrims, Indians (native americans, but back then they were called Indians, which no one I can remember ever seemed to mind), and even a Rhinoceros. Huh? Well you will have to watch to understand.
Another fun Thanksgiving related classic is a cartoon from Tex Avery called Jerky Turkey. Made in the 1940s during World War II, it a feast of double entendres, silly visual jokes, politically incorrect asides and wicked puns. You know, like many of the old cartoons - a rich plate of satire for children and adults.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
If I were to believe every thing I read at the checkout aisle of the grocery store, I would guess we are in for another Royal Wedding. And I thought to myself, hey - it sure has been a while since we had a really good set of regal nuptials, so I guess it might just be a big deal. When I was younger, I was amazed at all the "big deal" status when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer tied the knot. Honestly, in the USA the affair was as big as the World Cup and the Super Bowl combined. If you were too young to remember, or so old that you forgot - here's a little newsreel video of the Royals wedding ceremony. Whether or not Prince William does get married or not, who knows? But I suspect the wedding will be a huge deal, if only because he might one day be King William, but mostly, because he is the son of Lady Di.
Well - thirty years before that marriage, there was a very popular movie called Royal Wedding. It was an old school movie musical, which still had about 10 or 15 years left of gas before the genre pretty much died out altogether. It offered the movie tagline - that it was MGM's gayest technicolor musical, which you can see in the tweaked movie poster below. And as I look at current times, obviously a lot has changed. MGM, the movie side, not the casino and hotel business, filed for bankruptcy last week and back then, being the gayest was not at all what that means today. The movie was directed by the legendary Stanley Donen and starred Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Keenan Wynn, and Sarah Churchill. Yes inquiring minds - she was related to Sir Winston Churchill. She was his daughter, and probably still is. HA!
In any event, it seemed like a wonderful time to encourage you to revisit this film. Besides being a really solid example of the Hollywood musical genre, it features some really terrific scenes. My favorite is later in the film (a few minutes into Part six. click the playlist icon in the lower right corner, and jump to part six if you want to see this amazing scene) when Fred Astaire does a jaw dropping dance around the room, on the walls and even on the ceiling. A special room that all the furniture glued down and could rotate was used to create this amazing effect.
If you have a strong broadband connection - check out the movie in the player offered below. (MP4 files, encoded at much higher data rates than the flash version offered here). Hope you enjoy the show, and we will look for you at the upcoming Royal Wedding. What? you were not invited? Oh well, too bad. I imagine it will be a little stuffy anyway.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
After watching a bunch of Quentin Tarantino movies, it was easy to see what a huge fan he was of the rich history of film. I also guessed that he has a lot of fans who missed all the cool references and hat tips he gave to directors of days gone by.
In Kill Bill, both one and two - he honors so many of the great Japanese film makers of the 1950s and 1960s. Yes, of course there are short segments in most of his films which recall the work of Akira Kurosawa, and Kill Bill is no exception. Go and watch Yojimbo, Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood and you will see what I mean. But, did you notice in the final scene of Kill Bill 1, how the fight scene recalled Hiroshi Inagaki's final fight scene in Samurai III, Duel at Ganyru Island. And also, for good measure - a nod to Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan, Women of the Snow. Trust me, if you are familiar with some of these Japanese film classics, the Kill Bill series will be much more fun to watch.
Or take another Tarantino film, Inglorious Bastards. Do you remember the part about how film used to be made of nitrate and was highly combustible? And then there was a shot of a little boy carrying some films, and a policeman not allowing him on the bus? Well - guess what. That scene came from a terrific and very suspenseful movie from the great Sir Alfred Hitchcock called Sabotage. And that scene with little Stevie carrying the film, which was rigged to be a bomb was so good. Awesome good. In the Tarantino movie, the shot lasted about 10 seconds, but if you had the benefit of having already seen Sabotage, that whole episode added immensely to the beauty of the Tarantino film. And if you have never seen a Leni Riefenstahl film, you would not appreciate the ambiguity of what a great director she was, and also - how creepy to be doing this high art for the Nazis of World War II Germany.
The bottom line with any Quentin Tarantino movie - the more you know and appreciate film history, the more enjoyable it will be to experience a Tarantino film.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Johnny Carson died in January 2005, but even after he died, he continues to be one of the nicest most generous fellows in all of Hollywood. In case you missed the news - he contributed over 150 million dollars to his foundation, the John W. Carson Foundation, which is known for its annual gifts to a wide variety of charities - including the education of children. Lots of people do not understand how foundations work - basically it is a huge chunk of invested assets that are required by law to give away at least 5% of their assets every year. So, if the directors of the foundation do a good job of investing, and say for example they are able to earn 10% on the foundation's assets - the foundation can give more and more money to charity every year - in perpetuity if they continue to invest it well. Oddly enough, Albert Einstein once said man's greatest invention was the power of compounding interest - and indeed, if you follow this example of making 10% compounded on the assets, and giving away 5% - it does not take that long to double the money of the foundations assets, and in turn, double the amount of annual giving. How long? well - about 15 years.
Okay - enough of the math games.... Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show - TV Comedy at the highest levels of humor. here's Johnny.
A few of my favorites - if time is short. Clip 1 - Clip 2 - Clip 3
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Fifty years ago, on July 11, 1960 Harper Lee published the most acclaimed American novel - To Kill a Mockingbird (move over Melville, though Mobie Dick is probably a better book. Personally - I would vote for something by Samuel Clemmons, aka Mark Twain... but I digress). While perhaps not the greatest book ever written in America, it is required reading in most high schools across the USA. And indeed, it is a great book. And a few years later in 1962, a great movie was made about the novel, featuring Gregory Peck as Atticus Fitch, Robert Duvall as Boo Radley and William Windam as the very creepy attorney who tried to railroad the innocent black man, Tom Robinson, played by Brock Peters.
So - it is a great time to check out a wonderful movie you probably haven't watched in a long time. One of my favorite parts of the film is the amazing soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein. You can watch right here at LikeTelevision - free. No need to pony up anything more than your time. Enjoy the show. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Yee Haw - For those who have never experienced it, skydiving is a great way to spend a slow day in early days of June. This was my fifth tandem skyjumping try - perhaps the last tandem jump before I venture out and go for it on my own. The process to go for it on your own is different from location to location - where I skydive @ Skydive Carolina - you can read all the details at their web site. It involves a series of jumps, on the first solo, you have two instructors with you the whole time to make sure you pull the ripcord at the proper altitude, and you pretty much have to make a decent landing after getting a bunch of instructions on how one should go about doing this. Anyway - for my fifth tandem jump, I wanted to simulate as much of that as possible with an instructor attached to me the whole time, ummmm - just in case. The steering to the landing zone was no problem, but I still came in a little hard and fast and need to be more cognizant of the flare at the end. If you are looking for a soft and mellow landing, you have to fully extend and pull down hard to de-power the parachute before landing.
In any event - it was a great time. I included the video below in case you're interested. Skydive Carolina is in the middle of a cool festival that lasts all week - with jumpers from all over the place, and tents with vendors selling techno gear, parachutes, vitamin water was free - and the best part - the people. Truth is - people who jump out of airplanes - are really interesting people as you might imagine. I hope to get out there again sometime over the weekend just to take it all in. What a great time !!!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky was born on May 25, 1889 in Kiev Russia. He was one major cool man and was a huge innovator in the world of aviation - in both helicopter technology and fixed-wing aircraft, in some ways maybe even more important than the Wright Brothers. He emigrated to the USA on March 11, 1919. You can catch a short video with Sikorsky here.
Wikipedia has a very good article to learn more about his life. Another very cool aviation film to watch if you like airplanes and aviation history is called Conquest of the Air, with Lawrence Olivier.
Also of note - Sikorsky was a man of great faith. Hey, you'd have to be to invent a working helicopter. Let me close my brief tribute to Sikorsky with a quote:
Our concerns sink into insignificance when compared with the eternal value of human personality - a potential child of God which is destined to triumph over lie, pain, and death. No one can take this sublime meaning of life away from us, and this is the one thing that matters.
Monday, May 10, 2010
This morning I was greeted by the sad news that the great Lena Horne died yesterday, May 9, 2010 at the age of 92 in New York City. She was born in Brooklyn on June 30, 1917 and was aclaimed not only for her talent, but also for her role as an active member of the civil rights movement.
In reading over her obituaries, so much ink is given to her role in breaking barriers in the olden days of entertainment - and she certainly did a great deal. I recalled Halle Berry giving Lena Horne credit when she won the Oscar in 2001. And I am happy to give Lena Horne HUGE credit for all the hardships she endured in those days. Part of what made Lena Horne amazing was her tireless work for justice and equal rights. But I grew up as a child in the 1960s and anyone with an education was pretty aware that racism was just stupid. Yes, I know pockets of racism remain, but it is far removed from my universe. My problem is with racists, not people with a different skin color or culture than me.
What I will always remember about Lena was how she could sing a song. I will never ever forgot - WOW, Lena Horne could sing like an angel. So, allow me to write about how great a singer she was. About how her heart just overflowed and burst on every note. She was THAT good.
I heard her perform as a young boy at a place called Melody Top in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Melody Top was a giant tent at a place called the Schlitz Pavillion. The sound system was very good for its day and because it was a huge tent, and a singer could sing without all the room reflections creating a gargle of echos that made it difficult to hear. And as a young kid of maybe 9 or 10 - I was able to just listen to her sing without all the back story of racial tensions, breaking barriers, and civil rights. As I think back about it - how lucky I was to have this opportunity. And even though four decades have passed, I still get goosebumps remembering that day. This little boy was convinced she was an angel, and that this is what angels must sound like when they sing. No doubt about it - Lena Horne sang like an angel.
Anyway - give yourself that same blessing. Just close your eyes, and listen to Lena Horne sing.You can wring your hands about all the troubles in the world in just a few short minutes. Go into a world of childlike wonder - and ask yourself, I wonder if this is what angels sound like? Rest in peace Lena Horne. And may God bless you and keep you safe.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
On May 4. 1929 - Audrey Kathleen Ruston, a.k.a. Audrey Hepburn, was born in Ixelles, Belgium. She spent her childhood growing up in Nazi occupied Arnhem, Netherlands during World War II where she learned to be a little ballerina (and you thought her graceful movements just came naturally). When she was 21, she moved to London to continue her ballet training and also got some work as a model. In a few short years, she moved to New York and got the lead role in the Broadway show Gigi in 1951.And two years later in 1953, she was starring with Gregory Peck in one of her best films, Roman Holiday. During her film career, she worked with many other stars including Humphrey Bogart, Rex Harrison, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, William Holden, Fred Astaire, Peter O'Toole, George Peppard, and Albert Finney.
One of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies is Charade, where she plays a woman who gets tangled in a crazy web of international intrigue and falls in love with a man (Cary Grant) who loves her, but is also not very truthful to her because of his job as a secret agent of sorts. The film also stars Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and George Kennedy, The film is directed by the great Stanley Donen, with a killer musical score by Henry Mancini.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Time to repeat an olde post - that is always new each year at this time.
You asked for it, here we go again with some higher taxes! To mitigate the horror, we've provided 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 wants 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. But no worries TV fans, the Flash and Real streams are free to watch.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Yipee - it's Baseball season again! Time for some beer, brats and baseball - but wait! - oh no, the Brewers lost the opener. I think it will be okay, there are many many games left to enjoy. So, to celebrate the Baseball season, 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.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We wish all our Jewish friends a Happy Passover, and hoping all Catholics have a productive and prayer filled Holy Week as the season of Lent comes to an end. And Happy Easter to all. Basically - We wish everyone a wonderful and joyous holiday, and for those in the northern hemisphere, may you delight in the sights and smells of spring. For our southern hemisphere friends, I hope your leaves changing colors are especially beautiful.
In case I forgot anybody, ummmm, like some of those living on the equator, - we wish you the very best too.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Woo woo - break out the bubbly because it's President's Day. OK - so President's Day is a total non-holiday where typically - whoa, cool - no work today but in all honesty, we would do well to remember the two guys today's holiday honors - Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. George W. (no, no, no, not Dubya), the first US Prez, was a great president and we should be thankful he devoted a great part of his life to giving his talents to found this great country. But, unlike most politicians today - I am just thrilled he set a great precedent, and did not wish to become King George. By the time the war was over, all he wanted to do was to retire and chill at Mt. Vernon. So far, we have yet to have a president who was hard to kick the heck out, though FDR did his best to push the envelope of term limits - he actually did the USA a favor, because soon there was a new law - just two terms and buh bye.
And how can you not like Abraham Lincoln? OK - I am sure there are a bunch of you knuckleheads out there, but at least concede he kept the country together. Yes, we have all heard recently that he suspended Habeas Corpus, and that was bad.... very bad, probably worse than when Seinfeld told Babu to change the theme of his restaurant to specialize in Pakistani food. But give old Honest Abe some props - slavery did indeed put a huge wound on the words in our US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Can you say - hypocrisy?
Anyway - for me, these are two of my favorite presidents. I regret we do not have any decent video on Abe Lincoln... but we do have a really cool George Washington tale from sci-fi bizarro land. Yep, no kidding. Check out this classic One Step Beyond episode - Night in Decision. Another interesting George Washington short video clip worth watching comes from a super trailer made by LikeTelevision's resident maestro, Frank Random.
or watch the whole movie. McLintock - starring John Wayne as George Washington McLintock.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
It was 60 years ago today, on January 26, 1950 that Indian finally gained its independence from Great Britain. Two Indian heroes were mostly responsible for the country's freedom - Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Their weapon of choice - passive resistance. Though they were promised independence by British Prime Minister Atlee in 1945, those stubborn Brits were downright slow to let go... I mean 5 years is a long time mates. Here's a video with some historic footage of the landmark event in India's history.
So - to honor this historic day - I decided to bottle a batch of some home brew, an India Pale Ale to be exact - which had been fermenting in a lovely state of what is called wort. Zymergy (the art of fermentation), Moshing - or making home brew is my new hobby. One of these days I will make a video about it as it is loads of fun and downright delicious if you know what you like in brewskis and are patient. Since this I.P.A. was a strong batch - meaning a bunch of alcohol content by volume, it is best to let it ferment in this wort state for at least 2 weeks. After that - it is time to bottle it - which entails adding 3/4 teaspoon of sugar into each 12 oz. bottle, pouring in the wort and capping it. Give it a good shake, and let it sit for about 10 days to get the beer nice and carbonated. The yeast is still active and it will ferment the sugar, letting off gas which has no place to go except into the beer to give it that nice fizz and a solid head when you pour it. After this - it is two months of lagering - which just means you put it into the fridge and try not to drink it because it is still immature. Well, I am immature too - and as of yet - I cannot wait the whole time and try a few before they are totally ready - but waiting does make the beer a ton smoother, so you really want to. Knowing my weakness - I have brewed several batches so far - with fun names to boot. Fat Man in a Bathtub Stout, St Arnold's Schwartz a Negre, Squirrelly's Nut Brown Ale, Fat Ass Bass, and most recently - Jenny's Juicy Juice, which is my favorite to date, already half gone and less than a month of lagering. Yikes! So - in an effort to stay ahead of the game, I also began a new keg of wort - I am calling Crazy Mixed Up Kid - because I am using a Pilsner Hopped Malt Extract combined with an Amber Unhopped Malt Extract and Gr Spalt Grand Hops and some Galcier Hops, with a cup and a 1/4 of brown sugar. This batch will be ready around planting time in the garden.
If you are interested in a how to make beer video, just drop me a line at info-at-liketelevision-dot-com. Cheers! And especially to all my friends from India - Cheers!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Many years ago - newspapers were the primary source of information for most Americans. The industry grew for decades - and believe it or not, there was a time when most big cities had 2 thriving newspapers, usually broken down political lines. Which is why a bunch were named the Democrat or the Republican, with a prefix of the city in question. First radio, and then TV began to eat away at their monopoly for supplying information. And today - with the onset of the internet, you can pretty much get the news just the way you like and have only the narrowest point of view, a blog where only you are the reader for instance. ahaha. All kidding aside - there still are a lot of good newspapers out there, but it is no secret they are struggling with all the competition for providing information.
But back in the day - say the 1930s and 1940s - newspapers were the only game in town. They owned the information and were paid very well to tell the information in a way that was honest and fair, and struggle to keep clean amidst a world that had many rich people wanting to present in a way favorable to their business or power related projects. A few of my favorites are His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant and Rosiland Russell and Meet John Doe starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. You can also check out a lot of newspaper related stories, whether it is Clark Kent, alias Superman working at The Daily Planet or Frederic March and Janet Gaynor in A Star is Born. But don't stop checking out the history there - just do a search for Newspaper - and you will find a ton of newspaper related content. Oh - here's one more favorite - from an old TV show called One Step Beyond. The episode is called Where Are They? and it begins in an old newspaper office in Chico California with reporters covering a very odd story - of rocks falling out of the sky. Cool episode indeed.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
When I was a kid the Tonight Show was a really big deal. In the early days it was hosted by Jack Parr, and when it was time for him to move on - a new unknown named Johnny Carson was chosen to host the show. Everybody thought he would fail and would be replaced by somebody as known and famous as Jack Parr, but Carson took the show to a totally new level of comedy and entertainment.
Anyway - we have a ton of the classic moments from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - prepared in a fast paced montage of best of moments. One of the best known is the series of blooper sexual innuendo classics - featuring Jane Fonda's line about Pet My Pussy, and Johnny's offer to trim Raquel Welch's hedges, etc etc. No - the Arnold Palmer clip about how he allegedly said his wife kisses his ball before every tee shot is not included. And a further urban legend says that this clip will never see the light of day, as lawyers are lined up to keep that Tiger deep in the woods forever. But according to Snopes, that urban legend never even happened.
But Johnny was the master of the live clip. Don't believe me - watch this one below with Ed Ames throwing a hatchet on live TV. It does not get better than this.
Johnny also introduced a ton of great comedians to huge nation wide audience - from Rosanne Barr, George Carlin, Bill Maher, to Gary Shandling and a really young Drew Barrymore, who pulled out her baby retainer and plopped it on Johnny's desk.
And the video below featuring Sam Kinison is a just too funny. With Carson at the helm of the Tonight Show, it was always on the cutting edge of comedy. Watch them all!
So, today's current spat with the Tonight Show featuring Jay Leno in one corner with Conan O'Brien in the other - with NBC's Jeff Zucker being the one most likely to get the axe - is not so much about the Tonight Show as it is about the bickering. After Johnny left - and cable began to grow new channels every month, the Tonight Show was really never the same. Johnny Carson was the Tonight Show. If you could put him back on the show - all the networks would be in the bidding and it would go for an astronomical price. I bet Leno, Conan, and Zucker would even agree this was true.
Monday, January 4, 2010
The other day, my girls suggested that I would enjoy the new Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey jr. as the great detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle many years ago. Even as a kid, I loved Sherlock Holmes and my favorite Sherlock was always Basil Rathbone, though I did enjoy Jeremy Brett in the PBS series a while back as well. He was probably closer to the literary character than Rathbone - but for me, Brett was just a bit too arrogant - while Rathbone had that just right aura of self-importance. And Nigel Bruce was just the most delightful Doctor Watson - the perfect blend of intelligent doctor, and blind as a bat buffoon who always made Sherlock Holmes seem even more astute in his observations. Anyway - I hope to take the advice of my girls and check out the new film. I have always been a fan of Robert Downey jr - who judging by the stories in the news, he would make a wonderful Sherlock.
But - if you are like me, you still have a huge spot in your heart for the old B&W Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. And here at LikeTelevision - we have a bunch of the best Sherlock Holmes movies from that era. One of my favorites is called Secret Weapon, where Sherlock is fighting the Nazis to save a very secret weapon developed by a foreign scientist behind enemy lines. Sherlock must figure out a way to bring the hi-tech bomb sight back to the allies without it being discovered by those nasty Gestapo types in leather trench coats. And of course, the evil Professor Moriarty has allied himself with those nasty Nazi types.
Another Moriarty classic is called The Women in Green. Here Sherlock must not only match wits with the evil genius Moriarty, but also stay cool while being wooed and charmed by a beautiful woman, played by Hilary Brook. And of course, she's a no good stooge working for the evil Moriarty. I wonder if this is where the whole Batman / Cat Woman love weirdness all started. Ahhh... Julie Newmar... but I digress.
PLUS... More classic Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone - Dressed To Kill and Terror By Night. There's a few more Sherlock related videos to - including one starring Popeye the sailor man in Private Eye Popeye, and another cartoon with Mutt and Jeff.