Monday, November 30, 2009

PRETTY Posters

Here's some exclusive teaser posters from PRETTY, a new web series which I was one of the producers of. PRETTY premieres in January on a computer screen near you!
Sam Pancake as Michael Champagne.

Dee Freeman as Ribina Champagne.

Troy Conrad as Ethan Champagne.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Creepy Santa Door Panel

I bought a vintage holiday decoration at an antique mall in Arizona last weekend.

It's 6 feet tall and made of waterproof vinyl and is still in its original package. My guess is that it came from the 1970s. The front of the package depicts an actual picture of the entire product, but if you flip it over you see:

ARRRRGGGGHHHH! Ohmygod - Santa what's happened to you? Has your years of hard working and drinking caught up with you? Do you suffer from constant rosacea or are you sun burnt? Can I get you some aloe vera? Poor Saint Nick, I hope you're not in too much pain. The question is - do I keep you in your package or proudly display you in all your redfaced glory this holiday season?

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After Thanks...

When I was a kid, something I always looked forward to on the day after Thanksgiving was when ABC (and later CBS also) filled their Friday schedule with episodes of all their Saturday morning cartoon favorites.
Yeah, they were the same old crappy mix of badly animated shows you could see on any given Saturday, but somehow having them air on a Friday made them seem really special. The local ABC station also added to the fun by show two of my favorite animated features over the holiday weekend...HEY THERE IT'S YOGI BEAR (1964), which featured Yogi's Southern belle girlfriend Cindy Bear.and THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE which features some great music, including a fun James Bond-like theme song. These two feature-length Hanna-Barbara took our Saturday-morning TV favorites and and gave them some big screen exposure. This tradition seems to have flourished as Nickekodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel favorites now regularly appear in straight-to-dvd features in this mold. In fact this morning, I awoke to TWEETY'S HIGH-FLYING ADVENTURE, a cute all-star Warner Bros. musical farce featuring cameos by about two dozen Looney Tunes characters. It's pretty fun to see Sylvester interact with Pepé LePew and Penelope Pussycat, especially when it seems that Pepé is suggesting a three-way with the puddy tats! Boy, times have changed!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksvegan!

Here's two vintage ads that make me smile on this day of Thanks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Liza & Rosie Cartoon Show (The Parody Returns)

It's been a year since the much-maligned ROSIE LIVE! TV special aired on NBC. This was a horribly conceived and executed ego trip for hostess Rosie O'Donnell. Our friend Marc over at Deep Dish has already dissected it admirably last year. Rosie's first guest of the evening Liza Minnelli was one of the few bright spots of the hour. Seeing Liza and Rosie together brought back memories of a little-known project these two odd gay icons did a few years back.
Yes-THE LIZA AND ROSIE CARTOON SHOW, a hidden gem from the Hanna-Barbera vault. The show only lasted six episodes, so it's not as well-loved as classics like CLUE CLUB or FRED & BARNEY MEET THE SCHMOO, but the show has it's small, loyal cult of fans.
The premise of the show is this: Liza gets out of rehab and all her gay ex-husbands and boyfriends have gone on tour with JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS, so she turns up on the steps of her good friend Rosie, the "queen of nice" - who gladly takes in the dynamic diva. Hilarity ensues as the two learn to get along despite Liza's zany antics and Rosie's "niceness".Episode # 1 "The Puss-Hide-Ing Adventure" - Liza has a gig performing on a cruise ship, and Rosie wants to join her - only she can't afford a ticket cause she was fired from from her latest TV show. Rosie and her conservative kitty Hasselbeck become stowaways, but things get turned upside down when Rosie trips over her pussy and causes the ship to flip over. Liza saves the day by singing "There's Got to Be a Morning After".Episode #2 "The Flowering Inferno" - Liza plants a poppy garden, but loudmouth Rosie accidentally lights it on fire while practicing fire-eating for her gender-bending stage role as Gene Simmons in a production of "KISS Me Kate".Episode # 3 "I Dream of Sweeney" - After a freak accident Rosie acquires the powers of a genie, BUT she can only turn things into meat pies. Luckily Liza is having a soiree to honor Stephen Sondheim-only he's allergic to meat! Rosie has a hair-brain scheme to save the day! Will she succeed?Episode #4 "Rosie's Panic Room" - When Jodie Foster stops by on her way to the Dinah Shore golf tournament, Rosie accidently locks her in a panic room. Who's gonna host the pool party now???Episode #5 "Liza Gets Her Mountie" - On a visit Canada to purchase over-the-counter drugs, Rosie backs out of her commitment to "mule" and, as a cover-up, Liza has to recruit the locals to perform a rousing number from "The Rink."
Episode # 6 "The Old Soft Shell" - When Liza's tap dance instructor gives her a wicked case of crabs, so she must fumigate the house. Only Rosie's Tom Cruise & Koosh Ball Enthusiasts Society meeting is scheduled for the same afternoon! Could this be the last straw for these mismatched roommates??? I certainly hope not!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rocky & Bullwinkle @ 50

Jay Ward's Rocky the Flying Squirrel first flew into American homes 50 years ago today! Yes, it's been a half-century since Rocket J. Squirrel began outwitting Cold War villains Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, along with his friend Bullwinkle on ROCKY & FRIENDS and later on THE BULLWINKLE SHOW. For lots more info on Rocky and his Frostbite Falls cohorts, go here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Johnny Mercer @ 100

John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was born 100 years ago today. Though he died in 1976, his gorgeous standards have had a life beyond his lifetime. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music and recorded songs as a pop singer. Mercer wrote the lyrics to more than a thousand songs, including some for film and Broadway shows. Some of his most popular tunes were "Too Marvelous for Words", "Hooray for Hollywood", "Jeepers Creepers", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Fools Rush In","I Remember You" (written about Judy Garland), "Blues in the Night", "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", "That Old Black Magic", "Come Rain Or Come Shine", "Skylark", "Moon River" and my personal favorite, "Autumn Leaves", based on the French song "Les Feuilles Mortes". Mercer received nineteen Academy Award nominations and was a co-founder of Capitol Records. His music also played an important role in the book and film version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.Happy Birthday, Johnny.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What is PRETTY?

PRETTY is a web series debuting in January 2010. I am one of the producers, as well as the production designer. As the premiere approaches I will be telling you more about it, but for now enjoy our wonderful teaser image.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Supergirl @ 50

The current DC Comics version of Supergirl releases it's 50th issue in February.
Though I stopped collecting the title a while back, I will be picking up this special celebratory 50th issue.
The character of Supergirl is also celebrating her 50th Year in comics, having first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May 1959).
As part of this anniversary celebration, SUPERGIRL film actress Helen Slater will be contributing a story that looks into a day in the life of the Girl of Steel.The cover to this extra-sized extravaganza will be by the late Michael Turner, who tragically passed away last year at the age of 37. While I was never a big fan of his elf-like female characters, his work on Kara helped define her for a new generation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

David Lloyd 1934–2009


David Lloyd was an Award-winning screenwriter and producer for television. He wrote for MARY TYLER MOORE, as well as THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, TAXI, CHEERS, FRASIER and WINGS. Lloyd wrote the Emmy-winning "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of MARY in 1976.
He was the father of Christopher Lloyd (THE GOLDEN GIRLS, WINGS, FRASIER and MODERN FAMILY).

THE ADDAMS FAMILY on Broadway


Continuing the trend of turning everything from my childhood into a Broadway musical, here's a first look at the cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Looks pretty awesome to me, especially Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia, Nathan Lane as Gomez, and Jackie Hoffman as Grandmama. Joing them are Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Krysta Rodriguez as Wednesday, Zachary James as Lurch and Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester. Photo by Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair magazine. Wow, they still publish VF? With all the recent mag deaths (Gourmet, Metropolitan Home, Modern Bride, The Advocate, etc.) I wonder how long till that mag folds?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

LORD LOVE A DUCK trailer

I watched this classic film for the first time last night. Don't have the energy to write a review or synosis, but here's the trailer for you all to enjoy. While in the blogosphere, please visit our friends at A Touch of Tuesday Weld.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Busy Days, Busy Nights


Sorry for all the short posts and repeated posts lately. I've recently started a new "day job" which keeps me busy during the days in addition to my continuing "part time job" at night adding in my role as a producer and production designer for my very own Velvet Candy Entertainment production company, that leaves me with about a half-hour free time each day - which I spend watching episodes of MARY TYLER MOORE to relax. Hopefully soon I'll be able to catch up and blog some more like I used to. In the meantime, you can enjoy my other daily blog which I share with my friend Sherri, Hello There Cutie. Be back soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 40th Anniversary SESAME STREET


The PBS show turns 40 today. I guess time flies when you are having fun and learning. There's lots of media coverage of this event, so I'll just simply say "Happy Anniversary" and "thank you" to the Childrens' Television Workshop for changing the face of kids TV.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Return of THE SINGING NUN

Here's a post a ran about two years ago, but newly enhanced with some new pix to accentuate my points! Maybe it's because I attended 13 years of Catholic school (that includes kindergarten), and got to know so many nuns on a personal level, but I've always been fascinated by movies about "brides of christ".

THE SOUND OF MUSIC, AGNES OF GOD, NASTY HABITS, CHANGE OF HABIT, THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS...just to name a few - are always required viewing in my house.
As a child, THE FLYING NUN was one of my favorite shows, and I can recall asking several of my nun teachers if they could secretly fly. None of them could - but some could really SING!

Now, the true story of THE SINGING NUN is something that would make a fascinating film. The real Soeur Sourire (Sister Smile), who wrote and sang the worldwide hit song "Dominique" lived a very much different life than what Hollywood would have led us to believe.

Born Jeanne Deckers in Belgium in 1933, she joined a Dominican convent, taking the name Sister Luc-Gabrielle. She became popular among the other nuns for her beautiful songs and was encouraged by to record an album in 1963. The song "Dominique," (about an evangelist and saint who figured prominently in Belgian history) made her an international celebrity, and she adopted the stage name of Soeur Sourire . She performed in concerts and even appeared on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW in 1964. Imagine if a nun appeared on AMERICAN IDOL today!"Dominique" sold more than 1.5 million copies, and following the success of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, a movie about her starring Debbie Reynolds, was made. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't cover the later years of her life. Around the same time as the film's release, Jeanne stopped performing, Soon after, in 1967 she left the convent and recorded her second album, titled "I Am Not a Star in Heaven". Though she was deeply religious, she grew increasingly vocal and critical of the conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church and she became an advocate of birth control (and reportedly gay rights as well). She even recorded a song entitled "Glory Be to God for the Golden Pill ." Wow.

She later opened a school for autistic children in Belgium with a "friend", Annie Pescher. By the early 1980s the Belgian government began claiming that she owed back taxes almost $50,000. Desperate to raise money, she released an updated dance music version of 'Dominique' in 1983 (need to find it on iTunes) but it failed to set the charts on fire. In 1985, she and Pescher committed suicide together by overdosing on barbiturates and alcohol, and were buried together in consecrated ground.

There is a recent film version which delves into these details. I look forward to seeing it one day.Meanwhile, getting back to the movie at hand - I'd been curious about the film for years - I mean a "true story" about nuns starring Jewish-convert Debbie Reynolds her "best friend" Agnes Moorehead and everyone's favorite sexy 1970s MD - Chad Everett!!! Plus we get pre-FANTASY ISLAND, WRATH OF KHAN and Chrysler Cordoba Ricardo Montalban and a cameo by Ed Sullivan himself! How could things go wrong?

Directed by war movie veteran Henry Koster , things do go terribly wrong. Well, Debbie does as well as she can as the unsinkable Sister Ann, the spunky nun who who can sing like an angel, but has a lot to learn about doing good things and butting in where she doesn't belong. She is always riding around on her motor scooter with her guitar ("Sister Adelle"), playing soccer with the boys and trying to stop peasant girls from becoming strippers - what a scamp! Moorehead is effectively bitchy as "Mother Endora" - a senior nun, who is not amused by Sister Ann's frolics.Sister Ann's real dream is to move to the African Congo to work with children, but in the meantime she befriends a lonely local little boy, Dominic, whose mother has died and whose father is an alcoholic. I think his sister (Katherine Ross) is kinda whore-ish too. Sister Ann doesn't care about the saint like the real Sister Smile, so decides to write a song about the little boy instead. Go figure.

The song goes something like this:
"Dominique, nique, nique
 I will tell of Dominique 
His goodness to acclaim
 And I pray the song I sing
 Will some simple pleasure bring
 That the world shall know his name!"
I think something got lost in the translation.

When Father Clementi (Montalban) hears Sister Ann's song, he see dollar signs and enters her in a talent contest. Before you know it, old friend Everett, apparently channeling Clark Gable, shows up and signs her to a record deal and the whole world is soon listening to her silly light-hearted songs!

The album has become a sensation, and "The Singing Nun" is soon making appearances at parties and engagements, even appearing on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW on CBS! Ironically, while preparing for the show, the nuns explain that they're forbidden to wear makeup-even though the actresses portraying them are clearly wearing lipstick and false eyelashes! Huh?

Everything seems wonderful and magical, only Sister Ann is unprepared for her new found fame-and her attraction to Everett! This is just like Sister Bertrille and Carlos - I mean what was the deal with those two? And what of the tragedy that soon befalls Dominic and his slutty sister? Does a poor Catholic girl really need to resort to stripping to pay the rent on her cockroach infested shack?

So, if you are curious to see how sugary and fictional a Hollywood biopic can get - see THE SINGING NUN. I'll give it 6 out 10 "Huhs?" because just the thought of bawdy Debbie Reynolds (Miss Burbank 1948) and rumored lesbian Agnes Moorehead as nuns is comedy enough for me!
For the record, Reynolds explicitly denied to film historian Robert Osborne that Moorehead was gay, describing her as "terribly religious." That's not what Paul Lynde had to say about her! Hmmm...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hobby Time with THE FLYING NUN

Ever wonder what did Sister Bertrille did when she wasn't flying around Puerto Rico, outwitting grumpy Reverend Mother Superior and being pursued sexually by creepy Latin lothario Carlos? Well it looks like she spent much time "looming"! Well, now you too can make pot holders, purses and placemats just like the perky airborn bridge of Christ played by future Emmy and Oscar winner and anti-war activist Sally Field! This kit from Habro is adjustable and fully assembled - and comes complete with a generous supply of fine jersey loops, yarn and instructions! Apparently it also comes with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices!
She flies! She prays! She weaves! She gives Carlos "blue balls"! Gotta love her. Not to be confused with THE SINGING NUN (see tomorrow's post).