I don’t really have the time to go to Hollywood and pitch a script or write it up or anything so if someone could help me out how does this sound to them: movie where the person making a new version of 18 Again wakes up in the body of a person who’s making a new version of Vice-Versa? And so they both go and try to meet up and figure out how to undo this, but they find out that actually one of them is in the body of someone they didn’t know was working on making a new version of Freaky Friday? It’ll be something kind of but not exactly like something we’ve enjoyed enough before!
- Car 54, Where Are You
- Sargent Bilko
- The Honeymooners
- The Archies
- Just The Ten Of Us
- Mr Belvedere
- Gilligan’s Planet
- Space Precinct
- Early Edition
- The $1.98 Beauty Pageant
- I Love Lucy
- Password Plus
Reference: The Triumph Of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life, I B Cohen.
But in the shower this morning I realized that in all probability, they went ahead and turned fondly-remembered-but-not-rewatched TV show Mister Ed into a movie that even the people who worked on it don’t remember ever seeing. There’s an excellent chance they made a sequel where Mister Ed goes to New York or the Olympics or something too. What else are they getting up to while we’re paying attention to other stuff?
- Alastair Sim’s version
- Reginald Owen’s version
- The Odd Couple version
- Lionel Barrymore’s version (radio only)
- Patrick Stewart’s version
- The Real Ghostbusters version
- Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds version
- The Pac-Man cereal box version
- The Back to the Future cartoon version
- The Oddball Couple version
- Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds version
- This really good sink fixtures display they had one year at Rickel’s, though.
Reference: A Voyage Long And Strange: Rediscovering The New World, Tony Horwitz.
So I thought that bonkers word from Pepsi the Pepsi-Cola Cop I shared the other day was just some amusing odd little set of comic strip advertisements. And then I ran across a startling video apparently from 1946, in Technicolor:
Who would have imagined that the adventures of these very round cops gain astounding powers of limited-animation by drinking soda pop as though it were spinach? Also from being injected by Horse Drugs? Of many odd things that exist, this is among them.
So the news is that King Features has is developing an animated feature based on Slylock Fox. I don’t know how this is going to work, but I’m looking forward to it starting off with a short cartoon and asking us which six jokes got changed for the replay.
- The Great Mouse Detective 2: The Greater Mouse Detective
- 2010 II: 2012
- The Maltese Falcon II: The Maltese Falconer
- Gildersleeve’s Ghost 2: Gildersleever’s Ghost
- The Sting II: The Stinger
- The Godfather II: The Godfatherer
- To Sir, With Love 2: To Sirerer With Loverer
- Apollo 11 II: For Serifed Fonts Only
- The Hustler II: The Hustlerer
- 2012 II: 2014
- Broadway Melody of 1933 II: Broadway Melodier of 1933er
- The Man Who Came To Dinner II: The Guy Who Stuck Around For Lunch
Reference: Tulipomania: The Story Of The World’s Most Coveted Flower And The Extraordinary Passions It Aroused, Mike Dash.
You may question my use of the time machine to go back and make an episode were SCTV’s Movie of the Week is the Ken Russell remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but what alternative would do so much to make the world a more wonderful place?
Note: Barry Lyndon is not listed as a 17th century movie; it is set in the 18th century.
Reference: The Secret Life Of Bletchley Park, Sinclair McKay.
I don’t envy the people working on the Columbo prequel, other than that I assume they’re getting money for work. But they have to be glad of one thing. Any time someone complains about how we don’t need to know Columbo’s origin story, we know how he turns out, they can just glare intently back and point to the name of the intellectual property. It’s something the poor folks doing the reboot of Cool Million can’t fall back on.
So here in the Northern Hemisphere we’re looking at the summer solstice tomorrow, or today if you’re reading this at the right time, or sometime in the past if you’re reading it after that. Anyway. Please remember that while this is the longest day of the year, it is not the day when sunset comes the latest in the year. This phenomenon may seem confusing if you don’t know this piece of information: Astronomers have always hated drive-in movie operators, and vice-versa. I hope this clears matters up for you.
I don’t know how much is the appropriate amount to think about famous knock-off movie Ratatoing, but I don’t think I’m far outside the norm. Plus, Nathan Rabin blogged about it a couple days ago, and reading that made me realize: oh, that name is surely not meant to rhyme with “boing”, right? You’re supposed to think rat-at-oo-ing, so it’s even closer to Ratatouille. Rat-a-toing is just wrong. And then I tried watching the movie and it turns out? No, it’s “boing”, just like I thought when I didn’t know anything. So the week’s not even half over and I keep having to re-evaluate everything. Or I can stop thinking about stuff and, it turns out, be okay, just less tired of it all.
- The Hustler
- The Apartment
- The Discrete Charm of The Bourgeoisie
- The Casablanca
- The Dog Day Afternoon
- The E.T.
- The Fall of The House of the Usher
- Who Framed The Roger Rabbit
- The A Hard Day’s The Night
- The Man Who Shot Liberty The Valance
- The Mon Oncle
- The Night of The Hunter
Reference: The Big Rich: The Rise And Fall of The Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, Bryan Burrough.
The current Gasoline Alley story is built on some Hollywood types coming in make a movie about the town. While the town’s residents are interesting to the comic strip readers, one might ask why anyone in-universe would care about this town? Longtime readers enjoy the more-or-less plausible lives of interesting characters. But why pick this place, other than that Walt Wallet is a generation older than Betty White?
While searching for something else, I ran across this timeline of events in Gasoline Alley. It’s a list of some of the big story events including when Skeezix turned up on the doorstep. and seems to be pretty solid for events up to about 1950, that is, the era when the comic strip made its reputation. It may not convince you — I mean, breach of promise stories? Everyone did them back then and that’s such an alien idea today, like suing somebody for not wearing a hat — but it gives some idea what all happened.
Over on my mathematics blog, I just looked at the comic strips which observed Pi Day. How many of them were about mathematics? The answer may surprise you!
This essay should catch you up to mid-March 2022 in Jim Scancarelli’s Gasoline Alley. If you’re reading this after about June 2022, there’s likely a more up-to-date plot recap at this link. And now, action!
1 January – 19 March 2022.
The current story had just been called when I last checked in. Some Hollywood types are descending on Gasoline Alley to make a movie. Rufus and Joel try to clean City Hall up to the point that it shines. The movie makers slip and fall on the wet floor. The comic relief pair suppose that the movie makers want to sue them for damages. After their attempts at disguising themselves fail completely, they run off to hide in a cave.
The movie folks turn their attention to Walt Wallet. They turn over some kind of prospectus for a movie based on his life. It’s a big, bold work, not bound tightly to the facts. He calls Skeezix over to describe some of them. And to recount a story that … actually, he’s told before, back in January and February of 2014. But he claims that when exploring in Egypt ages ago he and his party, desperately short on water, fell into the tomb of the Pharaoh Do-Ra-Mi. They found an urn on the shelf, with ancient, stale water that they drank happily. And then found the hieroglyphics proclaimed it the “Energy Shot – For Youth”. Which, well, he is a pretty spry fellow for being six years older than the SOS distress signal. But back in 2014 when he told this story he was making up that it was the Fountain of Youth. He was spinning yarns back then, which, fine. But when why his shock in 2022 when someone believed him?
After sharing this and some other, lesser tall tales with Skeezix, the movie folks call to say never mind. They’re not doing Walt Wallet’s life, which is a shame, since this was an excuse for Scancarelli to draw a young-looking Walt Wallet doing a lot of fun action. (One of the stories shows him hopping a train, which seems mundane enough to have happened.) But the movie folks have decided to do a science fiction piece, Teenage Thing Meets The Creature From Gasoline Alley. Scancarelli’s heart is in doing a 1950s radio sitcom and I like him for that.
The movie producers still want to get hold of Rufus and Joel. The pair emerge from hiding, when the bear they were hiding with kicks them out. And that’s where we stand. Will it turn out they’ve made a bad assumption about what the movie folks wanted them for, so that their winter hiding in a cave was foolish? There’s no way of knowing except reading, or remembering the rules of the 1950s radio sitcoms that the comic strip wants to be. We’ll check back by June, anyway.
The only question worth asking right now is when is Mark Trail going to punch an NFT? And the answer is, always, not soon or often enough. But if we’re lucky by next week I’ll be able to tell you just when Mark Trail does. That’s Jules Rivera’s Mark Trail next Tuesday, if things go to plan.
The Case For: Are the best vertical surface available to 1990s college students to hang their posters of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Blues Brothers, or a Mandelbrot set.
The Case Against: Somehow increase the noise of the people in the hotel room next to you by 12 to 18 decibels.
The Case For: Has the superhuman power to take good action pictures on a timer.
The Case Against: In one of his adventures on The Electric Company, Spider-Man was beaten by a Wall at Shea Stadium.
I mean, if you told me, I’d have no way of arguing you were wrong. Here I’m talking about movies where these characters are the stars, you know, the protagonists. I’m sure every one of them had a cameo in Ready Player One, Space Jam II: Space Jammier, Scoob!, and I’m guessing that one where space aliens jam a giant Pac-Man into a city or something? I don’t know, I just saw the commercials and figured that was enough. Anyway if you want to put one over on me, and start talking about a movie starring any of these, I would never suspect you were fibbing. Also I don’t know why you’d want to put that over on me, but that’s your business, isn’t it?
- Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har-Har
- Grape Ape
- The Silverhawks
- Tom Slick
- Mighty Mouse
- The Herculoids
- Space Ace
- Hoppy the Marvel Bunny
- The Tazmanian Devil
- Huckleberry Hound
Reference: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation, Frank O’Brien.
- How To Train Your Dragon
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Pete’s Dragon (1977)
- Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God
- The NeverEnding Story
- Quest for Camelot
- Spirited Away
- Pete’s Dragon (2016)
- Dragon Fighter
- The Flight of Dragons
Not listed: Disney’s Robin Hood although doesn’t that really feel like it should have at least one dragon in there, somewhere?
Reference: The Most Unsordid Act: Lend-Lease, 1939-1941, Warren F Kimball.
So, now, I know that you want look to me as a respectable or “cool” figure. Before you bestow this trust in me, though? You should know that in the 80s I read more than one article about the making of Earth Girls Are Easy from in Starlog magazine. So, just, scale your expectations of me to that, please. Thank you.
- Bean Dad
- Sea shanties on TikTok
- Like three probes orbited or landed on Mars and one of them had a helicopter
- Balloon Boy
- The Kellogg’s strike
- That morning we all found a box of Peak Freans on our counter even though they haven’t made Peak Freans since like 1989 and nobody could explain where all these Peaks Freans came from
- That guy did that really good impression of Robin Williams learning of John Belushi’s death
- Culture Club released the hit song “Karma Chameleon”
- The imperatives of state bureaucracy drove European governments to impose family names on all their inhabitants, without regard to local culture or the lack of community need for such things
- The controversial “Rashomon” episode of Scooby and Scrappy Doo aired
- Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died
- Ken Russell’s film adaptation of The Who’s Tommy uses rather a lot of beans, is unconnected to “Bean Dad”
- End of the Recombination era of the universe, when electrons and atomic nucleuses finally became cool enough to bind together into atoms, allowing photons to travel great distances, causing space to no longer be opaque for the first time
- Boss Baby 2 came out
- Audiences were enchanted by that “so good … but no lumps!” commercial but can’t remember, was it for gravy? For Alka-Seltzer? But Alka-Seltzer was that “Mama Mia, that’s a spicy meatball” commercial, right? That was like four years ago?
Reference: American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, Nick Taylor.
- Despite the name no so-called “universal remote” has ever in fact been remote from the universe.
- No United States president has ever been born in the future.
- The 100 pleats in a chef’s hat represent the 100 times that the guy who bought the hat-pleating mechanism insisted on showing this was too a good purchase and would pay for itself in time.
- In the Star Trek episode “Court Martial” Spock discusses what would happen “if I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity”, implying there are enough zero- and negative-gravity planets around he needs to shut talk about them down before it even starts.
- There must always exist at least one breadbox that cannot be put inside another breadbox. However, if the universe were infinitely large, we could not count on this being true.
- No episode of the 1980s animated series of The Smurfs establishes that Gargamel knows of the Snorks.
- Those coworkers whose names you aren’t sure you have yet, and it’s too awkward now to ask about? Sara and Mike. If there’s a third, it’s Darryl or maybe Darren. Go confident on the “Darr” part and underplay the second syllable and you’ll get away with it.
- D is known as “the sunshine vitamin” because it was first discovered by spectral analysis of the sun. It would not be seen on Earth for nearly a generation after its detection.
- Not only could they make Blazing Saddles today, they did, which is where everybody was all day and why they’re all tuckered out. You should have come over and helped, you’d have had a great time. Maybe you can catch them next month when they hope to make Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One.
- Despite every advance in the technology to write songs, they are likely to be outnumbered by unwritten songs through 2024 at the soonest.
Reference: A Diplomatic History Of Europe Since The Congress Of Vienna, René Albrecht-Carié.
- Ben Templeton and Tom Forman’s Motley’s Crew
- Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey
- Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer’s Felix the Cat
- Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead
- Grim Natwick and Max Fleischer et al’s Betty Boop
- Gary Larson’s The Far Side
- Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie
- Brant Parker and Johnny Hart’s The Wizard of Id (with David Zucker and Jerry Zucker of Airplane! directing)
Not listed: that time Ralph Bakshi thought he was making a primetime TV cartoon version of Blade Runner.
Also not mentioned: that Tintin project because I don’t think Tintin was ever a comic strip and, like, Betty Boop had a short-lived comic even if it wasn’t good.
Also, coming back to the mentioned: Motley’s Crew? Really? Huh. I mean, I guess that’s a comic strip that existed all right, but … Really. Huh. I mean … huh. You’re passing on Bill Schorr’s The Grizzwells for this, then.
Reference: Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: How One Man’s Courage Changed The Course of History, Giles Milton.
- Star Wars: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: A Wars Star Story
- Star Wars: A Star Stories War
- Wars Star: A Stars War Story
- Star Wars Stars: A Story
- A Wars War: Star A Star Story
- Star Star: A Wars Star Stories
- Star Wars Star: A Wars Star War Starry Story
- Star Wars: Star Wars Story A
- Star Star War Star Wars: A War Stars Story Wars Star Story
- A Star Wars Story: Star Wars
Honorable mention: Star Wars: Sraw Rats, the secret movie for people who know Star Wars forwards and backwards.
Reference: Who’s Who In Mythology: A Classic Guide To The Ancient World, Alexander S. Murray.
|Thing||Durations in Runtimes of Turbo (2013)|
|Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address||0.05938|
|Construction of the Empire State Building||244.375|
|First non-exhibition/spring-training baseball game of the Houston Colt.45s, 10 April 1962||1.583|
|“The Gates of Delirium”, by Yes||0.2274|
|The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island (including commercials)||1.250|
|The Hundred Years’ War||637,711.71|
|One second||0.000 173 6|
|Robert Altman’s Popeye||1.1875|
|The 1960 Summer Olympics||262.5|
|Thunderhawk roller coaster (one ride cycle only), Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania||0.01354|
|Turbo Teen (complete series, including commercials)||4.0625|
|We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story||0.7396|
Reference: Roughing It, Mark Twain.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real thin man!” — Not said by Nick or Nora Charles, The Thin Man.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real treasure of the Sierra Madre!” — Not said by Fred C Dobbs, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real love story!” — Not said by Jennifer Cavalleri, Love Story.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real wizard of Oz!” — Not said by Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Goldfinger!” — Not said by Goldfinger, Goldfinger.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real cool hand, Luke!” — Not said by Dragline, Cool Hand Luke.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real space odyssey!” — Not said by Dave Bowman, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Scrooge!” — Not said by Mr Snedrig, Scrooge.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real shape of water!” — Not signed by Elisa Esposito, The Shape of Water.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Casablanca!” — Not said by Rick Blaine, Casablanca.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real space jam!” — Not said by Lola Bunny, Space Jam.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real planet of the apes!” — Not said by Dr Galen, Planet of the Apes.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Wall Street!” — Not said by Gordon Gecko, Wall Street.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Turbo!” — Not said by Turbo, Turbo.
- “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Chinatown!” — Not said by Lawrence Walsh, Chinatown.
Reference: Inside Nick Rocks: The Complete Story of the Music Video Show You Remember Being On Between Mr Wizard’s World and You Can’t Do That On Television, and How it Changed the World — and Whatever Happened To “Joe From Chicago”, Dr Will Miller.
Reference: Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941, Michael E Parrish.
- Star Trek: Revolution
- Star Trek: Blackbird
- Star Trek: Nobody’s Child
- Star Trek: Nowhere Man
- Star Trek: The Night Before
- Star Trek: Yesterday
- Star Trek: Across the Universe
- Star Trek: Tomorrow Never Knows
- Star Trek: Here, There, and Everywhere
- Star Trek: Octopus’s Garden
- Star Trek: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
- Star Trek: I’m Happy Just To Dance With You
Reference: The Gutenberg Galaxy, Marshall McLuhan.
I suppose that it’s fair to describe me as a voracious cinephile. Why, so far this month alone I’ve eaten three copies of Chappie (2015).
Reference: Wotalife Comics #4, cover date Oct-Nov 1946, Fox Feature Syndicate, publisher.
Hey, does it feel to anyone else like we should have heard Robert Zemeckis announce he’s trying to do a computer-animated remake of Who Framed Roger Rabbit by now? Has anyone checked in to see what he is working on? Maybe we could just make sure?
(So my favorite part of the teaser trailer is how right after the “COMING / IN UP TO 3-D / SUMMER 2022” title card you get Dot, Line, and Squiggle all shouting as they realize they’re going over the waterfall. What’s yours?)
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
- Paul Blart, Mall Cop
Fun fact: one time Trivia Night at the local bar was about something I knew I knew nothing about, so I warned everybody at the table that I was just going to offer “Paul Blart, Mall Cop” for every question. The first couple times they chuckled at the bit, but this faded out after like the third question. Nevertheless, I carried on, and you know? By about the ninth time? It started to change. My commitment to the bit paid off: before the end of the night everyone agreed this had the structure of a joke and was slightly amusing, they guessed, in its way.
Reference: The Footnote: A Curious History, Anthony Grafton.