Monday, June 29, 2009

Sam Malone's Dating Advice for Girls

I'm not sure where this clip originally aired, but it appears Ted Danson was called upon in the 80s to dispense dating advice to young ladies. Here he reads some common lines that guys use to talk women into having sex with them...from his own handy little black book???

BTW this video is also being posted on a pretty funny blog called Everything is Terrible. I recommend checking them out sometime - and their logo is very retro!

Fiero Makes My Dreams Come True

I saw this print ad for sale on eBay and just thought it was neat enough to post, since I love Hall & Oates (click on image for larger version.) I also like the Pontiac Fiero. It was a sporty little two-seater that Pontiac manufactured in the mid-80s that looks like a Mini Me version of the Firebird at that time. The car is considered an antique now and must be registered as one. They're awfully cute but unfortunately the Fiero lived up to its name, as several of the cars had a problem and caught on fire.

I didn't realize that Hall & Oates promoted any products. Or actually, it sounds like they were part of a concert that Pontiac was promoting. Seems like they were gearing this one towards high school students...a little adult education, anyone?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Separated by a Past Life: Retro Couple #4

Max Wright played the nerdy father Willie Tanner on the 80s TV series Alf, and Christopher Kimball is the nerdy host of America's Test Kitchen on PBS, but to me they could be one and the same! Or at least, brothers.

Alf was just one of the best shows ever. It was certainly a lot more creative (and funnier) than any of the reality poop on the tube today. You can catch full length episodes on Hulu and now YouTube.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Curtain Falls...

He was the top banana of the second bananas...Ed McMahon, the most famous sidekick in history, passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Of course The Tonight Show has never been the same without Johnny, but now I feel as if a chapter in television history has truly come to an end. In recent years McMahon had come to be a regular advertising spokesman for Publisher's Clearinghouse and (and I remember watching many episodes of Bloopers & Practical Jokes, which he co-hosted with Dick Clark) but he will always be remembered for his Tonight Show career which lasted over 30 years. He once said that he had the best job in the world, and who would disagree? He had the best seat in the house for Johnny's antics (mostly poking fun at his drinking.) Tributes from other celebs that are pouring it all say that McMahon was one of the nicest guys you could know.

I remember McMahon being a big cat lover; he introduced his Siamese cat Hershey Bar on TV once, and took his cats to his NBC office with him quite often. There is so much more that a blogger could say, but perhaps it's best to end with some funny clips of McMahon and Carson on YouTube, including the famous dog food commercial spoof. So in tribute, "Heeeeeeeeeeeeere's Ed and Johnny!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair...

Fabulous fringe, long, flowing dresses, and feather earrings: in case you haven't noticed when you visit your local mall, the year 1969 seems to be back in fashion, mostly influenced, I'm sure, by the Broadway revival of Hair and the upcoming 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Good Morning America is highlighting the late 60s all this week with segments about the Woodstock music festival. Yesterday they caught up with the iconic couple from the cover of the Woodstock record album (who are still happy together, as the Turtles would say); this morning, they staged a fashion show with the female cast members from Hair to show off the summer season's hippie fashions.

I have to be honest - I really wasn't crazy about any of the clothing, except for the Janis Joplin look of floppy hat and huge sunglasses as seen here. I'm more of a mod gal myself. But the price is right for many of these free flowing fashions, especially if you want that Bohemian look on a budget.

Check out this link to see the story behind the story of the couple on the Woodstock album, and click here to see a video clip of the hippie fashion show.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Big Band Beat Goes On

PBS has started to air a pretty good special called The Big Band Years, which features vintage clips of the famous bands during WWII including Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Guy Lombardo, and more. The only downside are the many interruptions for pledge money, but it's still worth watching, especially for this performance by the Andrews Sisters singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, from the 1941 Abbot & Costello movie Buck Privates. The sisters' performance was written into the script specifically to attract audiences to the movie. While I don't know if it worked, the song makes me want to get up and dance, and you have to admire the choreography, not to mention the middle sister's (Patty) vocal chops. As Peter Marshall and Nick Clooney (who cohost the special...and yes, that is George's dad) mentioned, Patty could've easily had her own solo career, but stuck with her siblings. Now that's some sisterly love! Here's the clip of the gals doing their charming thing...and check out PBS to see when the special is showing in your area.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

For Father's Day, Give Him What He Really Wants

Why, socks of course! And not just ANY kind of socks...the "interwoven" kind (aren't all socks made of interwoven material?) Yes, I am sure that this is what all men want...I'm willing to bet most dads today are letting out a grand sigh of relief that the vintage tradition of giving socks and ties is definitely passe.

OK, so I couldn't find any wittier vintage Father's Day ads on the let's just say...Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. (Ads courtesy

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Marianne the Librarian's Tips for Making Any Man "Head Over Heels" About You

Marianne the Librarian* clearly has something going on to be pursued so the lead singer of an 80s band, no less. Clearly, these must be her secret weapon tips of pay attention, ladies:

Rule #1 (well, we *are* in a library, so there's going to be rules): Never stop presenting yourself as the cold a$$ b*tch that you are. That means no smiling; don't even give any potential gentleman friend the slightest hint of a smirk. The more deadpan and dour, the better.

Rule #2: Don't have any time for fun and games. If anyone tries to pull funny by waving a toy gun in your face, pinch his nose - hard!

Rule #3: Don't show any skin. Always keep your shirts buttoned up all the way to the top. He'll wonder what you're hiding.

Rule #4: Tuck your hair behind your ears and wear oversized, dorky glasses. So sexy.

Rule #5: Always keep a synthesizer at your handy disposal. What better way to impress the keyboard player in the band?

Follow these tips, and you'll have that boy serenading you, following you around like a puppy dog, and floating up through the air towards that huge "SILENCE" sign.

Want to see the evidence that this works? The video was not allowed to be embedded, but click here to see it (and don't be surprised if he falls for you "head over heels.")

* I do not have anything against librarians. In fact, I'm good friends with one. I am just baffled as to why any man would find this particular one worth his trouble.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Boyfriend the K.I.T.T. Car

When I was 13 years old, one of my favorite TV shows was NBC’s Knight Rider. Way before David Hasselhoff ran in slow motion across a Malibu beach or mopped a hamburger off the floor in a drunken stupor, he was THE MAN playing Michael Knight on the series. With his mop of Tom Jones-like curls, black leather jacket, and chest hair peeping from his shirts, what wasn’t to love? Back then, I was in the throws of early teen celebrity crush lust and Hasselhoff answered the call.

But now, after catching a couple of episodes of the vintage program on a new local channel called the Retro Television Network, I wonder if it was really K.I.T.T., Michael Knight’s infamous super car and crime fighting partner, that I had a thing for. Think about it: KITT was freakin’ awesome. This black beauty could drive himself, crush a bad guy’s arm with his power window, shoot himself up in the air like a rocket, was bulletproof and crushproof and most cool of all, he could TALK. With a BRITISH accent. A voice like that could drive me – quite literally – up a wall, and I mean that in a good way. Take KITT to a drive-through car wash? No thanks, I’d rather soap him up while in my bikini and listen to that voice tell me how good it feels. KITT could almost drive me to consider mechaphilia (that’s having a sexual attraction to mechanical objects, including cars. For my friends who read my blog, I hope you know I’m joking. BTW, can any of you tell me how to get the brake release lever all the way up into an erect position?) KITT even had a sense of humor and a personality all his own, which is more than I can say about some men. When KITT escapes a car compactor (using his turbo projectory rocket booster feature, of course) he says he had visions of turning into TV dinner containers and scrap metal.

Maybe I’m onto something – I mean, in the most recent episode that I watched, one of Michael Knight’s ladyfriends (I call them that since we rarely saw any kissing between Knight and his revolving girlfriends) was blind. She makes a clay model not of Knight (which would have been very Lionel Richie’s "Hello" video) but of KITT, who is sincerely touched.

Personally, I think KITT is the answer to the sinking American car industry. Just manufacture a bunch of KITTs and sell them around $20,000 a pop and I think you’re onto something. Imagine, being able to nap in the back on the way to work while letting KITT do all the driving. You’d also never get crushed in an accident (you would never have another accident, since KITT is too smart for that) and if some assclown is tailgating you, KITT could blow a big cloud of blinding smoke in his face for you. KITT could also sense when traffic is backing up and take you on an alternate route.

It just wasn’t the same when NBC tried to resurrect the show last year – and the Pontiac Firebird that KITT was based upon was sanctimoniously replaced with a Ford Mustang. For shame. For me, there can only be one Michael Knight and more importantly, only one KITT. TV history.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

World War Two Poster Collection

I just discovered this WW2 poster collection on Northwestern University's Library site, and I could spend all day looking through the vintage designs. There are over 300 posters in the collection, issued by U.S. government agencies from the beginning of the war until victory that were meant to remind the home front about the rationing of food, metal, and rubber to support our troops. Often created using bold colors and graphics and blunt messaging, here are just a small sampling of the ones that caught my eye. Have a look, and visit the site for many more.

*Use It Up/Wear it Out: One of my favorite old sayings...this one is very relevant to today's economic situation - but it looks very funny to see the guy bent over in that position while she mends his pants!

*Men Working Together: Nothing like manly men...

*Me Travel?: The original "Staycation"!

*Don't Travel: Another anti-travel poster. I like how the travelers are portrayed as being fat and rich.

*Grow Your Own: Victory Gardens became popular during the war, and was encouraged as a way to save money on food (which meant more could be provided for the troops.)

*Someone Talked!: There are a lot of posters that seem to indicate America was paranoid about idle talk being picked up by the enemy and used to kill soldiers before they even had a chance. "Someone talked!" is a common theme alongside an image of a dying or dead soldier.

*He's Watching You: Darth Vader???

*Be With Him on Every Call: V-Mail was heavily promoted as a way to send secure mail to the troops and keep their morale up.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Time to Make the Donuts...

It's National Donut Day in the U.S., so what better way to celebrate then with some vintage Dunkin' Donuts commercials I found lurking on YouTube? You know, the homely guy who played Fred the Baker in the Dunkin Donuts ad was anything but the friendly and personable guy you saw in the ads. I used to work for a hotel and I heard he checked in late one night and was nothing but rude to the overnight staff. Guess having to say, "Time to make the donuts" too many times makes a person really cranky. Also, I think this second ad with Tattoo from Fantasy Island is a little creepy...namely because I always found Herve Villachaize really creepy. That voice...ick.

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