Thursday, March 30, 2017
Have a laugh with us- POP Laughs!
Scientology bought its own television studio in Southern California and plans to begin broadcasting its own programming over cable television. We've got some ideas for their new programming...
Entheta Tonight with David Miscavige
"Entheta" is anything against Scientology, so good Scientologists stay away from it! Chairman of the Board David Miscavige fills in good Scientologists on all of the television shows, news articles and websites that they should ignore!
Tall Tales from L.R.H.
L. Ron Hubbard traveled the world and did amazing things! At least, that's what he told everyone! Fairy tales are more believable than anything you'll hear from L.R.H!
It's Tom's World and we just live in it! See Tom travel around the world in private jets, fancy cars and amazing yachts while Sea Org members are forced to carry out his every whim!
There once was an intergalactic alien named Xenu and now you can hear all about his crazy antics as imagined by a drunken lout on anti-depressants!
The Con Boat
Only the top Scientologists get taken for a ride on the Freewinds! Watch every week as another group of wealthy Scientologists get taken!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
When Walt Disney was asked to make an attraction to salute the children of the world, he decided to hire an artist whose distinct eye for color and whimsy would be perfect for the ride he had in mind- Mary Blair.
Today, we honor Ms. Blair by sharing some of the artwork she created for the happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas- it's a small world.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
Kay-Bee Toys was founded by the Kauffman Brothers in 1922. The successful toy store would explode nationwide in the 1950's & 1960's as it embraced smaller format mall locations.
The stores began having issues in the late 1990's, facing huge competition from Wal-Mart and Target. The larger stores were able to undercut Kay-Bee because they sold more than just toys. After going through numerous bankruptcies, the chain was finally felled by the credit crunch of 2008. Toys R Us currently owns Kay Bee's trademarks, website and intellectual property yet rarely uses them.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
It was a box office disappointment. Clue seemed to confuse audiences and critics alike, both of whom doubted that a film based on a board game and with the gimmick of different endings could possibly be good. Despite being packed with a talented cast, the film fell by the wayside in the mid 1980's.
Rather than carry on the conceit of different endings for home video, Paramount combined the three endings (which required purchasing three different tickets to watch in theaters) by suggesting that the first two were possibly how things happened, but that the third one was the truth. Unleashed on the video market, the film began to take off, in particular with the attendees of "Camp Latchkey" who would wear out VHS copies of the film and catch it every time it aired on basic cable. Cable channels found the film to be a nice mix of adult seeming situations that were mostly family friendly, so it was placed into heavy rotation. The film built up a huge audience.
So what made the film a favorite at Camp Latchkey? It is undeniably repeatable and extremely quotable. Plus, what kid wouldn't want to be in a huge mansion, solving a mystery? Clue might not have set the world on fire at first, but it has certainly made up for lost time over the last thirty years, building a huge cult of fans who have embraced the screwball film.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
McDonald's Happy Meals have been a staple of kids' lives for years. We'll take a look back at some of the coolest toys handed out in McPop.
Fast food toys were often cheaply made and less sturdy than Cracker Jack premiums. One of the first of the higher quality toys handed out as part of the Happy Meal promotions were tied to Jim Henson's Muppet Babies.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
The POD-Palooza Podcast of the Week is We Hate Movies! Even if you don't hate movies, you'll love We Hate Movies. Hosted from New York City, where they may not know how to make salsa but they do know how to make laughs, We Hate Movies features the guys of Private Cabin (Chris Cabin, Andrew Jupin, Stephen Sajdack & Eric Szyska) discussing some of the worst films ever made. It's like you're sitting with some funny friends, making fun of some movies you've seen in the past, except they live in NYC and they're not *exactly* your friends. It's still fun, though!
From imitations of crusty diabeetus shill Wilford Brimley to grim versions of the Muppet Babies theme song sung by serial killers in the process of getting executed, We Hate Movies has it all- and it is all in good fun! So head on over toWe Hate Movies and get in on the fun- today!
Monday, March 20, 2017
Kino-Lorber, an entertainment company devoted to bringing Hard to find, out of print and never in print films to DVD & Blu-Ray, has announced that the Kirk Douglas/Burt Lancaster film Tough Guys is being released for the first time later this year.
In POP Video, we'll highlight some of the videos from our Ralphcast affiliates.
Fakeline News exposes the gritty and disturbing details behind the notorious Willy Wonka chocolate empire. Dare you click on to discover the shocking truth behind The Candy Man?
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Back when there were just three major over the air tv networks and limited cable, it was more common for a television show or event to rise above the crowd and become a massive pop cultural event. "A Moment in Pop" will highlight these TV events plus other cultural touchstones and phenomenons.
NBC sought to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of Motown Records, the small black owned record company that would take the entire world by storm. By producing sweet, sweet music, Motown would change the world and the United States by desegregating the world of music and bringing people together. NBC had no idea that Motown 25 would electrify the country; by the end of the special, Motown would be honored, memories would be rekindled and Michael Jackson would produce an electrifying performance that would catapult him to the stratosphere and provide much fodder for water cooler conversations the next day. For one evening, the country would come together to enjoy the music, memories and magic.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Pop Icon and Rock & Roll Legend Chuck Berry has passed away at age 90. An irreplaceable inspiration to countless musicians and artists, his contributions to modern music are immeasurable and his talent will never be forgotten.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Large store chains come and go- POP Shop aims to track down what happened to many of the larger yet forgotten places.
In the 1960's, discount chains were the next big fad. Five and dime retailers were flooding into the market, eager to establish larger suburban presences. Kresge, Inc had found huge success with its K-Mart stores and Woolworth didn't want to be on the sidelines. Enter Woolco, which actually tried to be a much bigger format store than many of the other similar stores. At the time, Woolworth was the biggest player in the five and dime world and it wanted to be the same in the discount world. Woolco Stores were meant to make a big splash.
By the 1980's, however, it became clear that Woolco would never be one of the big players. Woolworth had overestimated the public's desire for discount stores and the Woolco branches were way too big. The company originally tried to partition off the stores to make them smaller. That didn't work out, so all of the U.S. stores were shutdown. The Canadian stores lived on until they were purchased by Wal-Mart in the 1990's.
Woolworth would eventually close its flagship discount stores to concentrate on what had been just one small division of the company- Foot Locker. The corporation survives today as Foot Locker, Inc.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
The history of licensed cereals goes back to 1969 when Post decided to rebrand its failed Post Rice Krinkles as "Fruity Pebbles" based on the Flintstones. Some at Post thought that the popularity of the cereal would eventually flame out, but it never did. The cereal still features the Flintstones and still sells extremely well- despite the fact that most of its current customers probably only know the Flintstones from the cereal itself.
The overwhelming success of the cereal inspired others to try their luck at the licensed cereal biz. One company that decided to try its luck at licensed cereal production was Ralston, best known as the Ralston in dog food conglomerate Ralston Purina. The company produced similar tasting cereals that it would sell under different brand names and with different licensed characters. Today's such cereal is Donkey Kong.
Based on the Nintendo arcade game of the same name, Donkey Kong's box graphic features a knock-off Mario using a mallet to crush the barrel shaped cereal. The maple flavored barrels were much like any of Ralston's other cereals of the time; just shaped differently. The cereal would be killed off rather quickly.
While kids on TV and movies (and possibly rich kids) spent their summers at summer camp, middle class kids often went to "Camp Latchkey" which took place in their very own living rooms! Don't open the door for anyone and NEVER use the stove or oven!
One of the activities at "Camp Latchkey" was movie time, which was often reliant on whatever the television programmers chose to air. Through much of the 1980's, it was HBO's programmers who would influence an entire generation's viewing habits. One film that would fail at the box office but gain a cult following through repeated viewings was Midnight Madness.
Midnight Madness was a Disney film, but due to its more risqué nature, the Disney name had been stripped from the film by jittery executives. Rather than the Animal House style film that Disney Studios thought it had, however, the film's risqué elements were so mild that the movie feels like the cinematic version of a youth pastor who thinks he's 'hip' and 'with it' because he uses curse words like 'dang' and 'heck'.
The film is about an all night trivia game that takes its participants on a madcap journey around Southern California. Led by a skeevy 'game master' who inexplicably attracts the buxom duo of Candy and Sunshine to do his bidding, the various teams must compete against each other solely for the honor of being declared the winner. The film had all the elements that Camp Latchkey's campers would find appealing- young people who freely went on an overnight adventure, challenging the rules that dictated they stay safely at home and asleep, attractive ladies who would provide many a pre-teen boy his first crush and the feature film debut of a 1980's superstar who would find mega fame by the time the film went into heavy rotation on HBO- Michael J. Fox.
Years later the rise of the internet would make Camp Latchkey alumni realize that they weren't alone in their love of the film and Disney would eventually embrace the film, placing its name back on the print in its DVD release.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
What lives in the Pop Culture Basement? Forgotten stars of yesteryear, one & none hit wonders and other things that time seemingly forgot!
Most of the time, the worst result of using a classic red Solo Cup is the massive hangover that can come from getting blitzed on beer or some other alcoholic beverage enjoyed from one of the disposable plastic cups. In the 1960's and 70's, however, every Solo Cup package often touted a free record of 'top chart hits' that could be yours for the asking. Larger packages often came with the records attached. Who was the mystery singer whose albums could be had for a song? Why the elderly Dora Hall!
Ms. Hall was actually Mrs. Hulseman, wife of the owner of Solo Cup. A vaudeville songstress, Ms. Hall gave it all up to settle down and get married to Leo Hulseman, raising a family and helping him build up the Solo Cup Company. In the 1960's, Leo retired and handed the reins of the company over to his son while he began to give his wife the chance to have the career she deferred for him. The result was a series of vanity albums that Ms. Hall recorded in which she covered various songs like These Boots Are Made For Walking, Satisfaction and Hang on Sloopy.
Despite the countless free albums produced and distributed, Ms. Hall's late in life career is mostly forgotten these days. Was it because she was a bad singer? Not really; she was a serviceable performer who could have brought the roof down at a senior center talent show. For a professional singer she was quite possibly out of her league, but she was obviously enjoying herself. It would be easy to mock her and her husband for their vanity, but this story is actually kind of sweet. Leo loved Dora so much that he let her follow the dreams she deferred because she chose to raise their family and help build their business. Who can find fault with that?
The POD-Palooza Podcast of the Week is The Sketch Comedy Podcast Show! Lovingly produced each week in Oregon, SketchComPod (as those in the know call it) is hilarious! On this unique show, we not only get to hear amazingly funny sketch comedy but we also get a behind the scenes peek into how the sketches were made while listening to fascinating stories from people not unlike us.
SketchComPod's host, Stuart Rice, keeps the funny going, providing us a glimpse into his and his guests' often interesting lives. Three episodes a week consist of one hilarious sketch, the extended discussion that took place during the creation of the sketch, and a classic sketch from SketchComPod's extensive archives of hilarity.
It has been said that everyone has an interesting story to share and this top notch podcast proves it, winning our dodgy seal of approval!
Listen to the laughs at: