Thursday, July 19, 2007

Comic Con and other neato things

CON GAME: I’ve been lucky enough to attend the San Diego Comic Con three times. But my first visit was certainly memorable. It was 1985. The Comic Con has obviously always been “commercial”, but back in those days, it was not nearly as huge a “media event” as it is today. It focused on - believe it or not - comic books! The only celebrity that I met that day was Robert Shayne, who played Inspector Henderson on the “Adventures of Superman” show. "Can I give you some fatherly advice, young man?" he asked. "Stay away from drugs." My father, standing nearby, agreed. And I do too - that was very good advice.

Comic Con is coming back this month, and the list of special events is impressive. Read all about it here:


FRIEND OR FOE? His name is Alan. He's the guy who runs Hooper's Store on “Sesame Street.” He seems like a nice guy. Yet his coming on the show signifies the “point of no return” for me. Alan first appeared on the first episode to feature “Elmo's World.” After Elmo's World, I couldn't help the show anymore. It had gone to the dark side completely. It's like the moment when Anakin became Vader. My Sesame watching had already been dying for years, but Elmo's World was like the final nail in the coffin. Sesame Street turned into the same kind of corny kids' show that it had once tried to rise above. Could it be more than a mere coincidence that Alan first appeared on that very same show?

Can we truly blame Alan? He simply wanted to work on Sesame Street. Yet his coming brought about the end of the world (well, for classic Sesame fans, anyway.) Forget Barney or Elmo - Is Alan a sign of the apocalypse?

Seriously, Alan is played by actor Alan Muraoka, and there's an interesting interview with him on the “Muppet Newsflash” web page. Enjoy it below:


THE WAY IT WAS: Todd does it again! If you remember the way Disneyland looked in the 1960s, and wish you could see it that way again, take a look at his collection of Disneyland images from that era. He found them in a collection of slides. The moral of the story: If you ever give away your slides, don’t give away anything too embarrassing! But there’s nothing embarrassing about these classic images (with the possible exception of the tour guide‘s uniform, but she couldn’t help that!). Enjoy the images in these three blog postings from Neato Coolville:


DREAMGIRLS: Gina, Maria and Gabby to parody the Supremes. True “dreamgirls” unite to sing. Wearing opera gloves & everything... oh yeah... I can't wait to see that. . . It's coming (supposedly) later this year in Sesame Street's new season. It's also a throwback to the days when Sesame cast members would perform as “music groups” on the show. You can watch one of these classic moments in my favorites folder on my YouTube web page. Just click on “Gimmie Five” and enjoy a very cool blast from the 1970s past. The first link will take you to the press release about the next Sesame Street season. The link on the bottom will take you to my YouTube page:

ON YOUTUBE: CLIPS FROM SESAME STREET TEST SHOW: Before the first episode, there was the “bomb.” The bomb that almost destroyed Sesame Street! There was a preview episode of Sesame Street that was presented to selected families before the show officially went on the air. The preview show didn’t do very well! One of the reasons, according to Joan Ganz Cooney, was the separation of the “muppet world” from the “real world” on the street. This separation was eliminated, and the show we all know and love began in earnest. Hey, speaking of “Ernest,” check out the “D” film clip. It includes the “prototype” Ernie and his “prototype” voice! This guy reminds me of the Orange Oscar and the Green Grover! Plus, you’ve got to love the classic Sesame dialogue. “Do we have any choice?” “No.” And on the other clip, enjoy Bob McGrath singing the complete theme to the show with some slightly different lyrics (“every door is open wide.”) Also, note one of the kids walking past in the first shot on “Sesame Street” at the end of the clip. What is that he’s carrying? A fishing pole? A makeshift baseball bat? Hmmmm.
Enjoy both of these clips in my favorites folder on our YouTube page:

These clips come courtesy Boobergorg and ISNorden. You can enjoy more classic Sesame Street clips at ISNorden’s blog site:

You can read a detailed description of the test show at the site below. It features scenes from the ultra-rare “Man from Alphabet” skit.