Tag Archives: Die Hard

Rick and Roll! The A to Z’s of Alan Rickman

By Andrew Blumetti

“Blumes, don’t you start Buzzfeed articling me!”

He died hard.

He Harry Pottered.

He Robin Hooded.

He Sensed and Sensibilityed.

He caused me to create fake words.

Renowned thespian of the Shakespearean theater, Alan Rickman has been tossing a shiny slick coating of refined Union Jacked-charm over the Hollywood sign for the past three decades of Earth time.

A wealth of colorful characters under his belt, often portraying a menacing villain with a touch of ironically unironic Eurotrash sophistication thrown in for good measure.  Through and through, Rickman’s genuinely an actor’s actor–  time-tested, well-respected, almost British to a glorious fault, and graced with a sharper, drier sense of humor than he’s often credited with.

“Those of you who are not aware of my brilliant career as a stand up comic, I’m not aware of it either so we might well wonder what we’re doing here.”

-Alan Rickman

See?

And for all you “Al-manics”, drink some Gatorade and take this moment to stretch out those hamstrings.

Prepare to jump for joy 26 times… it’s time for…

ALAN RICKMAN:  A to Z:

APRON:

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BORING HEALTHY DIET FOOD…

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CHEATING ON HIS DIET INSTEAD…

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DUCK FACE AIN’T JUST FOR 16-YEAR OLD INSTAGRAMMERS ANYMORE!

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ELLEN DEGENERES DIDN’T ASK ME TO BE IN HER OSCAR SELFIE PHOTO!

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FORGOT THE SUNSCREEN:

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GOOD STEEL”:

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HERE WE’LL JUST PAINT A HAPPY LITTLE TREE…”

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IMAGINARY BOWLING:

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JAZZ HAND, (JUST ONE):

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KING OF KILT STATUE MOUNTAIN:

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LOVIN’ HIS DEMETRI MARTIN HALLOWEEN COSTUME:

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MY TRENT REZNOR-LOOKALIKE AWARD IS IN THE BAG!

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NICKELBACK’S STILL AROUND?!?:

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OH ELEVEN HERBS AND SPICES, HOW I LOVE THEE…

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PHIL ROBERTSON DARED ME TO DO THIS:

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QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER:

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REALLY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE BACHELOR WAS THINKING LAST NIGHT…”

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SIAMESE RICKMAN:

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THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR CELLO…

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UNDERPANTS AL!

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VALENTINE’S DAY:

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WU-TANG CLAN AIN’T NOTHING TO $%@! WITH!”

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X-MAS RICKSTER (AKA MIS-AL-TOE)

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YOU EXPECT ME TO MAKE EGGS IN THIS?!?”

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ZOOEY DESCHANEL, WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Pop Culture, Retro

Carl Winslow Kills His Whole Family! (Family Splatters)

By Andrew Blumetti

“You can find me on Twitter, @COP4LIFEINEVERYTHINGIAPPEARIN”

To address that seemingly exaggerated title, let’s bust out of the starting gate with an important question.  One simple inquiry that should, no, make that needs to be answered by the end of this article.

“Did he do thaaaaaaaaat?”

..and my dear friends, the answer to that haunting query, beyond a shadow of a doubt will absolutely come back, yes.

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Carl Otis Winslow is an island.

No, that’s not just because the zoftig patriarch of the Chicago household is filled with more coconuts than a Rupert Holmes song, it’s because, despite his penchant for adult hissy-fits and Sears Tower-high cholesterol, this doughy donut factory is still standing on two legs.

…and more importantly, it’s because a good chunk of his family isn’t.  

This is going to get ugly.

Take a few seconds to gander, ganderers.  Above this very sentence is a delightful photo of the Winslow clan mid-series.  Sure, they’re all smiles and bright colors here, but fate would reach its cold, calloused hand down and throw them in a different direction.  You can print that adorable picture out, tape it to your wall, toss a dart at it, and there’s a likely chance the character it lands on quietly disappeared by the series’ unfateful demise in 1999.

Well, of course, unless it landed on Carl.

Carl Winslow

Now, by comparison, here’s a cast photo in the show’s final (nauseatingly bad) season:

urkel 1

That’s some bone-chilling Winslow subtraction.

 

A few additions, a lot of subtractions.  My, my, my, that is some frighteningly suspicious TGIF math there.   Granted, television is a fickle land, shows do pick up and drop stars at will.  Heck, look no further than the differences between E.R.‘s first and last season casts, there’s nary an Eriq La Salle to be seen for miles around.  What made the cast changeovers on Family Matters unique is how heavy, yet subtle the subtractions came.

A typical 90’s neon-drenched sitcom whose seed was deeply planted in Perfect Strangers, (the Odd Couple for Eurotrash in the 1980’s), Family Matters quickly grabbed the “loving middle class African American family” baton from The Cosby Show, and ran like the Dickens through the following decade.

“Now I am so offended, we do the dance of joy!”

The hilarious irony is that the longer the show lasted, the less family seemed to matter.   Quietly dropping like flies, all while pants-to-his-stupid-nipples next-door nerd neighbor, Steve Urkel, apologetically hijacked the show, dunked it in silly juice, crashed it on the moon and eventually turning it into a grade-A slapstick mess on toast.

If there’s one thing Carl knew well, it was food, and if “you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs” rings true, it’s time to start looking at the last man standing for the remains of those tossed broken eggshells…

THE WINSLOW FAMILY BODY COUNT:

1.  Judy Winslow

judy winslow

I know we’re all thinking it, so I’ll just say it: “Poor Man’s Rudy”.

 

In real life, Jaimee Foxworth, who portrayed the youngest Winslow kin, took a major league spill down crap mountain so historic, even the world’s most adorable meth-head, Jodi Sweetin, rolled her bloodshot eyes at her in pity.  In the world of Family Matters though, Judy just flat-out disappeared, (although to the viewing audience, she actually disappeared somewhere between episodes 2 and 4).   The best part?  The family blew it off like the girl never existed in the first place.

Or, just what Carl Winslow would have us believe.

THEORY:  Desperate for a ratings bump and with blood-sugar issues driving him up a wall, Carl, infamous for his 28 Days Later-level of rage, turned to cannibalism during a dark, unaired episode.

Let’s begin our meal…

  • 4 quarts of chicken broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 young Winslow child

Annoyingly useless character gone, hunger pains gone?  Sounds like a Win/Winslow situation to me!

“Harriet, my Judy Noodle Soup was too salty.”

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2.  Rachel Baines-Crawford

“I wonder if Hollywood Squares is hiring.”

She wore stupid hats, sang at strange times, opened a restaurant with the most narcissistic name humanly possible, and bizarrely enough, left her weirdo son out of nowhere, only to make periodic returns at the oddest times with no explanation given.

Rachel’s sudden and unexplained disappearance was even more peculiar than Judy’s, as the character played a bigger, more important role (in other words, she had actual lines of dialogue).  Richie basically lost a mom, Harriet lost her sister, Rachel’s Place lost its owner, and Telma Hopkins lost her paycheck.  Tragedy was dinging like a pinball machine all over the Matters universe.

THEORY: During the final season’s Christmas episode, Rachel, after opening her presents, skedaddled and was never to be seen again (although leaving the show at that point really was a present).  To explain her lengthy absences, it’s safe to assume Carl “Buffalo Billed” Rachel, keeping her in an underground pit in her own restaurant’s basement, to fry up glazed donuts/yaks for him upon his request.

“It puts the sprinkles in the basket!”

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3.  Estelle Winslow

THUG LIFE.

SHOWDOWN!  Her new hip is the new hip!  A battle royale of this streetwise granny vs. yours truly

                ESTELLE                 BLUMES

Dates:            MANY                      HAHA!

Social Life:    YES                          HUH?

Hip Factor:   HIGH             PAUL PFEIFFER-ISH

Yet, despite kicking my sorry white kiester in carpe diem-ing, after marrying her main squeeze, Fletcher, the eldest Winslow also mysteriously went POOF! from the show, taking her new baritone hubby and the greater Chicago area’s supply of Ben Gay down the bottomless pit with her.

THEORY:  Let’s just put it this way… you don’t want to know what the secret ingredient in Carl’s “Taco Tuesday” menu is.  Yes, those are bits of support hose in there.

“Carl’s tacos gave me the Urkel squirts!”

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4.  Richie Crawford

“I don’t know why God made me either!”

Mother of all creatures, big and small!  This creepy little troll-faced hobgoblin…

Nowhere near as adorable as they portrayed him, freaky little Richie Crawford somehow managed to pull off the Everest-task of sporting both a terrible Jheri-curl AND a mullet simultaneously.

It’s like this… you know how when viewing photos of Michael Jackson as a child, there’s that wave of shock about how normal he looked in comparison?  Well, Richie is like an adult Michael Jackson, but as a freakin’ kid.  Trying to try to figure how that molestation scenario would play out hurts my brain.*

*too soon.

THEORY:  As if one weirdo youth wasn’t enough, the Winslows adopted the biggest sass-mouthed orphan since Annie.  Enter Jerry Jamal  Jameson, also known as “3J”, in the eighth season.  The powers that be deemed this too many kids, so latchkey Richie vanished with his flaky mom during the final season’s Christmas episode, leaving 3J to take the reigns as the low-Winslow for the show’s final half-season.

Or more likely, Carl paid 3J to poison Richie’s Capri Sun pouches.  The little runt never saw it coming.

urkel 2

No big loss, half of Richie’s paycheck went towards 70’s curl gel anyway.

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5.  Waldo “Geraldo” Faldo

“I just used Harriet’s luffa.  Does that make me less of a man?”

The resident city village idiot and best friend of Eddie Winslow, Carl’s eldest child.  Waldo was the owner of a Forrest Gump-ish lQ, an unexpected culinary flair, and is the single-handed reason I still annoy people to this day by responding, “No prob, Bob”.   But, in typical Matters mystique, he vamoosed during the show’s December years faster than a dirty-footed hippie dodging the draft during the 70’s.

So…

(wait for it…)

(keep waiting…)

Where’s Waldo?

THEORY:  When good-natured simpleton Waldo tried to cook calorie-Carl a healthy, low-carb broccoli dinner, Winslow snapped like a postal worker in the 1990’s.  That’s the number one reason you don’t bring your piece to the dinner table.  (Number two reason?  Buckshot in the rice pudding.)

Well, that’s the wrong Geraldo if I’ve ever seen one.

6.  (original) Harriet Winslow

“Hey Harriet, stop giving us a bad name.”

-Wet Blankets

Close to the series’ close, when it had unceremoniously been dumped on CBS to die a slow and painful, and well-deserving death, Jo Marie Payton, the show’s second-billed actress, left the show, to unseemlessly be replaced by a different Harriet Winslow, played by JudyAnn Elder.  Yes, we all noticed.  It was like a bad toupee.

urkel 3

Nope.

THEORY: To any readers in Chicago, go to Soldier Field.  Yes, literally on the grass.  Now, start running.  Notice that huge lump bulging out on the 20-yard line?  Courtesy of Harriet Winslow!

“DA HARRS!”

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When would supa-fly homeboy Eddie, goody-two-shoes fussbudget Laura, and massive shark-jumper Urkel have bit the proverbial dust too?  Maybe a tenth season would’ve given “Carl the Calorie Killer” Winslow the chance to work his malevolent magic on those unsuspecting stupid kids, but alas, we’ll just never know what horrors laid ahead at 1516 W. Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

…or should we call it… HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES?!?

“HAHA! That Urkel sure loves his cheese!”

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Now remember that adorable family photo from earlier?  By comparison, it looks a heck of a lot sweeter than this haunting piece of evidence, found by detectives in Carl’s disturbing bedroom:

family matters

Till next time… no sweat, my pets! 

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television

Vigo From Ghostbusters II Died Ten Years Ago! (…and Other Things You Didn’t Know About Him)

By Andrew Blumetti

“Vigy, Vigy, Vigy, you have been a bad monkey!”

Dr. Peter Venkman

Amen brotha Billy… in fact you don’t even know the half of it.

Vigo the Carpathian, main antagonist in 1989’s summer-comedy spooktacular sequel, Ghostbusters II, was a 17th Century Moldavian genocidal tyrant, so horridly sadistic and blood-curdlingly malevolent, he earned a shopping list of not-so jolly nicknames, including but not limited to:  “Vigo the Cruel”, “Vigo the Torturer”, Vigo the Despised” and “Vigo the Butch Unholy”.

That concentrated evil is all just Hollywood magic of course.  When director Ivan Reitman yelled “Cut!”, the loathsome, murderous former-painting Vigo took off his mustard-y armor plated threads and was nothing more than an ordinary 20th Century human– German-born actor, Wilhelm von Homburg.

Wilhelm von Homburg?

True, a name that certainly doesn’t organically ring that familiar bell the way Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt does upon first listen.  While Fabio  Tony Little-lookalike, Vigo, was a celebrated villain to millions of movie fans, poor ‘ol Wilhelm was far from the definition of household of names, especially here in the United States.

Don’t mistake that last statement for a boring life though.  On the contrary in fact.  In spite of his unfamiliar foreign moniker and assumed one claim-to-fame, blondielocks lived quite an enthralling life to say the least.

So, kick back, unplug that dancing toaster, hop in the Statue of Liberty’s crown and let’s take a walk down memory lane.  When all is said and done, you’ll be rather surprised to learn of the roller coaster-ride of the life of the man who played the painting who tried to steal the baby to come back and kill the men who captured ghosts for a high fee.

“Suck in the guts guys, we’re on some dumb blog.”

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CLEAN SWEEP!

“Mop up all that pink slime or we’re calling Immigration on you. NOW.”

Not one to be pushed around in the film, but during the filming of Ghostbusters II, the Vigmeister lost a bet on the Cleveland Browns and had to clean up after those sloppy Scoleri Brothers.  No easy task- those paranormal fatties dropped Devil Dog crumbs EVERYWHERE.  We’d all like to think perhaps the whole cast pitched in to help.  Somewhere there has to be a photo of Rick Moranis accidentally dropping his glasses into the men’s room urinal while changing the cakes.

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“LET’S WRASSLE!”

Bust out them singlets!

In the 1950’s, he wrestled in the United States with his father under his birth name, Norbert Grupe.

Due to people incorrectly pronouncing his last name, “Groupie”, he changed his name to the much more roll-off-the-tongue, “Wilhelm von Homburg”.  A few years later, he’d switch over to a different kind of ring, as boxing came calling his “impossible-to-pronounce-without-sounding-like-you’re-in-the-SS” name.

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PUT UP YOUR DUKES!

“I’ll knock out Annie Potts and steal her French-bread pizza any day of the week.”

From 1962 to 1970, Homburg found a career as a successful boxer, nicknamed “Prinz”, a grand stage-name chosen in order to create a sense of royalty surrounding him.

Unofficial nicknames given to the pugilist were “The Boxing Beatle” thanks to his moppy mane, and the slightly less popular, “The German Answer to Muhammad Ali” thanks to the obvious resemblance.

He ended his career with a record of 29 wins, 11 losses, and 6 draws.  But to be fair, half of those victories came against Slimer.

In 2002, a documentary about Homburg’s life, entitled The Boxing Prince, was released.  This was later renamed to The Artist Formerly Known as the Boxing Prince… then eventually just a symbol.

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JUST YOUR AVERAGE AWKWARD GERMAN TV INTERVIEW

The day after a lost boxing match against rival Oscar Bonavena in 1969, Homburg appeared for a television interview on a German talk show.  He sat silent and smirking for the entire 10 minutes as the interviewer tossed snarky comments about Homburg’s boxing loss and his flashy lifestyle his way.

It still had twice as many viewers as any episode of Joey though.

To be fair, he’s still the second-most popular “Matt” from friends though.

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YEE-HAW!

Vigo’s years in the Bloods were spent constantly throwing the wrong hand symbol.

Despite his most prominent role as the adversary in Ghostbusters II, Homburg also had a minor acting career, appearing in hit movies starring Carl Winslow, such as Die Hard, and non-hit movies without Carl Winslow, such as Diggstown, and John Carpenter’s 1994 horror film, In the Mouth of Madness.

“Go ahead, call me Cee-Lo Green ONE MORE TIME.”

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VIGO’S ACTION FIGURE?  TERRIFYING.

Nice mullet.”- Skeletor

To properly showcase Vigo’s mighty shoulder pads, a Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation” doll was just painted over to achieve the look.

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VIGO’S “TO CATCH A PREDATOR-ISH” VOICE?  DUBBED.

“Dan Aykroyd said I couldn’t borrow his hair straightener.”

Bill Murray first dipped his gut-busting toe into the world of more dramatic roles in Wes Anderson’s 1998 charming classic, Rushmore.  Just five short years later, his brilliant performance as Bob Harris, an aging actor trying to find himself in Tokyo in 2003’s Lost in Translation made him a frontrunner for the first Academy Award of his career.

One textbook self-righteous Sean Penn acceptance speech later, and Murray’s trophy night never came to be.

Fret not specter-catching fans– While we can’t say Ghostbusters II included an Oscar-winning actor, at least we can say Bill Murray has good company with another Academy Award nominee in the film.

Max von Sydow, a Swedish actor, best known for playing Father Lankester Merrin in the horror landmark, The Exorcist, and appeared in Hannah and Her Sisters, The Diary of Anne Frank, and most recently, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, provided the few voiced lines of Vigo the Carpathian in the film.

“For relaxing times, make it Vigo time.”

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VIGO THE CONVICT

It wasn’t all fun times in the ring and bro-down pow-wows with Dan Aykroyd for Homburg though.

The persistent paparazzi hounded him, following the actor’s descent into the darker corners of his life.  Homburg’s life became filled with drugs, drug dealing, pimping and extortion, even spending a chunk of time 1%’ing it up with a Hell’s Angels chapter.

After many run-ins with Johnny Law, he spent five years in jail for charges on the previously mentioned bevy of charges.  Which was a major pleabargin from his initial sentence of being sprayed endlessly with gooey pink slime.

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ADIOS ‘OL VIGY…

Unfortunately, after a troubled and turbulent life, Homburg passed away almost a decade ago, to the day, on March 10, 2004 from complications from cancer.  And with him, we said raise our proton packs, give an ‘ol 21 “not crossing the streams” salute and say goodbye to the second-greatest Ghostbusters villain to grace the silver screen.

Wait, let’s make sure of this…

1. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

2. Vigo

3. Walter Peck

4. Zuul

5. the old lady ghost in the library

6. Jack Hardemeyer, the mayor’s assistant

7. Female Gozar (who actually should count as Stay Puft as well…)

Okay, silver medal sounds good enough.

“I’ve worked with better, but not many.”

Dr. Peter Venkman

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