Seriously. Well, not the whole “like-like” school of brilliance dolled out by the Winnie Cooper-ed mind of Kevin Arnold, but you all who read, follow, and support my blog really are the bee’s knees. I sincerely appreciate and thank anyone who’s taken time to read, enjoy, or roll their eyes at the cornball absurdity that fills this page on a relatively frequent basis.
Ok, enough of this gooey shhhh….ow of emotion.*Let’s get down to brass tacks here.
Before we continue, a favor first— If you reside in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic portion of the United States, please do me a solid- take a second and go to your window and look outside. I’ll wait.
Ok, I’ll wait more.
How about now?
See the Everest-high mountains of white stuff? There’s more snow out there than in a used CD bin.
Screw you, Blumes.
Yeah, this brutal winter is crawling by with all the lightning-quick speed of Artie Lange’s metabolism, but believe you me fellow snowed-in’s, as hard as it seems to believe, our ‘ol pal spring will be here soon, and before you know it, you’ll be itchy, watery-eyed, and sneezing your head off like the Queen of Hearts was demanding it.
But hey, even in two feet of snow, life would be nothing without small victories- my birthday is only 10 days away, pitchers and catchers are about to embark to Florida and Arizona for Spring Training, The Walking Dead has returned in all of its brain-munching glory, the Winter Olympics are running full steam, and the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition should show up on my doorstep anyday to make me feel pretty awkward in front of my mailman. February is truly the month that keeps on giving.
“This cover needs more Kate Upton”- Kate Upton, Blumes
Of course mid-February ain’t all AMC-zombies and Abe Lincoln’s birthday cake. Even if you’re still frostbitten from endless shoveling, you’ll still be sleeping on the couch if you forget the holiday that’s redder than Russia, circa 1960…
Conversation hearts? Fat baby Cupid? All-day Julia Roberts movie marathons? A remarkably thinner wallet? Make no mistake, make-no-mistakers, Saint Valentine is here with a bright red vengeance and he’s ready to kick yo keister up and down the snowy block.
For some of you, it’s a chance to take out a much-needed second mortgage for a dozen stupid red roses, boxes of mystery heart chocolates, and giant teddy bears the size of Delaware. For others, it’s an opportunity to throw Adele on repeat, curse the Hallmark holiday for shoving your blatant singledom in your face, and chow down on your emergency stash of Ring Dings while you feverishly refresh your OkCupid profile for new messages till the clock eventually hits midnight and February 15th comes to save the day.
“This guy’s coming with me in the carpool lane! I’ll just tell them it’s Robin Williams!”
That’s where I come in. Whether you’re single, taken, married, or a cyborg, I’m here to boomerang back all that amazing support and positivity to you on this Valentine’s Day, Twenty-fourteen. If it’s Friday and you’re in love, or maybe not so much, I want this day of hearts and crap to be your happiest and heartiest yet.
So, for a few short minutes, put that adorably plump Adele on hold, slam the flap on that box of uneaten Ring Dings, and pause those insufferable “Every Kiss Begins with Kay” commercials… Here’s my personal valentines to you rad readers- feel free to print and snip.
(* If anyone recognizes this quote, I’ll come to your house, hug you, and make you a B+ dinner.)
(2018 edit: This was a piece written years ago, at a time predating the terrible accusations against Bill Cosby. At that point, he was still strictly known as the ugly-sweater-wearing TV patriarch we all loved in the 80’s, and not a man found guilty of the monstrous claims against him.
I guess the most important question here is… can I tell the future?? I think it’s apparent the answer is: Yes.)
By Andrew BlumettiBill Cosby
This blog has gone off a cliff.
“Well, here, I had the taaaaasty ham sammich, and the mustard was just bippity baaa gooood.
Ya see… the chippppps, they’re the ruffled, kinda like Theo’s hair, DAAAA, and the shirt with the leiiiii… well it’s like Hawaii! with the belly dancers and the volcanoes and it’s too warm for ma’ sweaters! DAAAAA”
“Ahh, look at sleeeepy Billllll.
Well, what happened here, I had a long night the day before this. Little Rudy, ya remember HER? Well, her little mustache keep collecting the FLOP SWEAT! Baaaaa! The bright lights, ya seeeee, they kept glistening off her little whiskerrrrs, and zippity zop bop, we had to keep filming My Bill Show late into the nighttttt! Daaa…”
“My showwww. Bippity zip, man ya know I was the firrrst black guy on the TV! I did the Picture PAAAAAAges, with the Mortimer Ichabod Marker. He was squeakier than my old shoes! Bip bobbity…
Ya know what time ma’ watch says? It says it’s the bibbity booop blorp! BAAAAAA.”
“That stupid Urkel kid! – that showwww was the stupid!
He just sat there with the snortin’ and bortin’ and the hip bob bibbity boo zopp, with the pants up to his stupid kid nipples. I can’t believe they stayed on the air, and ‘ol Bill got thrown in the garbage like a used Kodak Film box. DAAAAA.”
“I went to TEMPLEEEEE. The UNIVERSITTTY! And nobody beats the Owls. Except for the Penn, who’s sweatshirt I got on. …and these fine young trackleetes from The University of the Tennessee.
Boppidy bop! I wore my best sweatpants to impress ‘em and hopefully get them the pregnant! They had the orange shorts and I thought I was at the Hooooooters!I said, ‘I’ll have some Buffalo wings with the hot sauceee!’ DAAAAA…”
(Blumes note:Bill later settled undisclosed lawsuits with both of these unfortunate girls who claimed Mr. Cosby encroached upon them, asking “You want Dr. Huxtable to help you deliver the baby?!?”)
“GHOST DADDDD!!! DAAAAA!!! Biggest hit of the summer of 1990!! And the second most successful film from that calendar year with the word ‘Ghost’ in the title!
I got lots of the dead prezzies to play a dead guy. Ghost Bill was zoobity zip zip! I came back with my TOP HAT and the zipppty and the zorp and the kids wanted to play with ‘ma briefcase! Frizzle frazzle!”
“Well, the chubby kid, ya see, he ate all my puddin’ POPPPPPS.
The little porker, well he got what was comin’ to him. He’s eatin’ ma’ foooood instead listening to the jazz music! I dropped him on the floor, and he fell on Lisa Bonet! DAAAA Zippity zip zorp bop! Ya know what? That little meatball never touched ma’ food again! He knew Bill had the boppity bip zaaa!!!”
Editor’s Note: Bill Cosby said every single word on here. Truth.
Talk about getting the most bang for your buck. They really do pack a lot into a little month, don’t they?
In a mere twenty eight days, we’re graced with a bountiful bevy of winter celebration– Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, Black History Month, Spring Training, and the most important of ‘em all (after Spring Training of course), there’s the great American holiday of Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest party since New Year’s Eve, only one month ago.
While granted, February’s short run is not as eventful as the unseen four weeks during 28 Days Later, but it makes me happy to celebrate my birthday during what would normally end up being a freezing, snowy, boring month with a girly-colored wuss birthstone.
Are you kidding me?
Living in the greater New York area, especially within earshot of Giants Stadium (or MetLife Snoopy Stadium, or whatever it’s called now), the excitement, traffic, and overall buzz has been ramped up to a Spinal Tap-worthy 11 as the Denver Broncos go mono-a-mono with the Seattle Seahawks for all the gusto and glamor of gridiron glory. It’s truly rocky vs. rainy in the Legal Marijuana Bowl.
Blumes note: This offer still stands! Now half price!
But frankly, it’s Friday, January 31st, this is all old hat by now.
At this point, you’ve been endlessly bombarded with Super Bowl ads, magazine covers, news reports, cocky fans, and nonstop party planning for weeks now. When Monday morning comes, and you’re more chili than man, you’ll undoubtedly know the Super Bowl had come and left its mark.
But that’s not who this article is for.
Maybe you’re not a fan of hawks or horses, perhaps Richard Sherman’s post-game interview rubbed you the wrong way, or heck, or maybe you’re one of those people seriously considering a 7th Heaven marathon instead of football this weekend.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Your special teams for the Oakland Raiders!
Of course that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself enjoying the festivities of Super Bowl Sunday. Dr. Oz-unfriendly food, offensively expensive commercials (that always feature a baby doing something un-babyish), the sickeningly adorable Puppy Bowl, and trying to get your greased-up fingers to press the remote buttons to change the channel as Bruno Mars performs at halftime- this Sunday is a bombastic event that will please folks of all tastes. …as evident by this walk down memory lane of some truly classic and heavily unorthodox Super Bowl games of yore.
1. SUPER BOWL XXXII: BATMAN VS. STORMTROOPERS
As John Madden once called it in a most clever anagram, “Capes vs. Space”, this battle royale pitted The Dark Knight vs. the Imperial Army for 60 minutes of a nerdtastic pigskin extravaganza. After a first quarter that was heavy on the Big D, Commissioner Gordon’s 45 yard rush into the endzone to close out the first half put Team Gotham up on top.
No guts, no glory, as the ‘Troopers marched their way back in the 4th quarter.
The second half was a superhero explosion of history-making offense as holy touchdowns Batman!— the Caped Crusader aired it out to the Boy Wonder (who took a time out from cheerleading) in the Gotham endzone.
But, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, as the Stormtroopers, with their armored backs against the wall, bounced back to tie the game as the 2-minute warning approached. Coach Vader flipped a crap when an ill-timed interception by Alfred the Butler spelled death for the Star Wars crew with the Bats taking home the trophy to Gotham City with a score of 28-21.
Go Team! Arwwwwwaaaaaaaarrrrrrahahahahahhaahhhhaa!!!!
2. SUPER BOWL XI: KISS BOWL (AKA THE TOILET BOWL)
“I wanna hike the ball all night!”
And you thought the Jaguars were bad…
Nothing screams out “gridiron glory” like mime makeup and gaudy platform shoes on men, but that’s why the KISS bowl was so unique.
Walking embarrassment Gene Simmons bit his long cow tongue as he slipped on his own fake blood on no less than three occasions, turning the usually triumphant game into a fumble-filled lowlight reel. Pain in the ace, Mr. Frehley, shanked four field goal attempts, and starchild, Paul Stanley? Well, he might as well have been the MVP… for the other team.
Chest hair and touchdowns! Not just for Joe Namath anymore!
As far as scoring went, it was Detroit Block City. The spandexed makeuped-ones never did touch the endzone, as KISS went down in defeat to good taste 49-0.
The best worst part was that they weren’t even asked to play the halftime show. That honor went to The Doobie Brothers.
The great part about being KISS, is you can sell any crap you want at the souvenir stands…
The epilogue to this heavy metal tale of the 100 yards: KISS never did get back to the Super Bowl, but on the plus side, KISS never did get back to the Super Bowl.
That jersey has the actual number of KISS fans left on Earth.
3. SUPER BOWL XLV: ZOMBIE BOWL
Let’s have a hand for the hometeam!
It may have been only three years ago, but who could forget when the undead took down scalpers stadium-wide and invaded the turf during the timeless showdown of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers?
Turning Aaron Rodgers into an Aaron Rodgers kabob? Transforming Clay Matthews into an undead Thor? Sending “Big Ben” Roethlisberger to the sideline to finally get some brains?
It all happened. I guess.
Indigestion from overindulging in extra hot Buffalo wings rendered Daryl and Michonne practically useless that Sunday.
While the gameplay may have been painfully lumbering and a bit lethargic at times, it was no worse than any given Cleveland Browns game on a random Sunday.
The “Running Dead” tried to bite Tim Tebow on the sidelines, but he was immune to it.
But if Broadway has taught us anything, (and I guess it has…) — the show must go on, flesh eaters or not.
Time will tell us that the zombies vs. zombies Super Bowl was a tad gory, maybe too confusing at times, and it may have taken five days to finish, but in the end, it was much less traumatizing than the Black Eyed Peas halftime show.
4th Down of the Dead!
One would be safe to assume the zombie apocalypse and certain doomsday would put a damper on the game’s festivities, with all the undead cannibalism and spilled guts, but the TV ratings reached an all-time high. The NFC z-team ended up hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, rotting limbs and all, bringing it back to frigid Green Bay where decaying slows down like Kirstie Alley’s metabolism.
THE ZOMBIES HAVE BECOME HIDEOUS!
The trophy had to be immediately sent out to be cleaned and shined due to the high volume of blood on it …on a weekly basis.
(On a positive note, in the zombie onslaught, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was attacked, but escaped by a “hair”.)
Parking was tighter than George Costanza’s wallet…
…but the tailgating was awesome!
4. SUPER BOWL XLII: THE RETURN OF BUD BOWL
Eli vs. Tom- buds for life!
For those too young to remember, the Bud Bowl was an early 90’s stop-motion beer bottle football tour de force that found its home during commercial breaks, squeezed in between multi-million dollar ads for Crystal Pepsi and The Bodyguard soundtrack. It was a kick-glass all-out brawl between Budweiser and Bud Light. Even as a long retired campaign, for me, that fateful Sunday in 2008 always be the year that the suds saved football.
Hut, hut… HOPS!!!
Phoenix, AZ– When a thunderous monsoon that would’ve knocked over human brick wall, Howie Long, hit, it kept planes grounded and prevented both the Pats and G-Men from making their way into warm, sunny Arizona, the NFL pooped their britches, panicked and pooped them some more.
“But I wanna go on the PLAAAANNEE!!”
Sadly, cancelling the big game seemed like the only choice left, seeing as how there was no way to get the unfortunate stranded teams into the balmy city in time. Luckily, the answer was only a bar away…
Long dead since 1997, a time when candy-lovin’ alternarock trio Marcy Playground was brimming with untapped potential, the beer bottles were called off the bench as Bud Bowl sat in as the substitute teacher for the real teams. It was truly like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but for drunks.
“My nose is red cause I’m half in the bag!”
The bottles tossed on the teams’ uniforms, and no one in the massive Arizona crowd was the wiser. Nearly sixty minutes of play time and we all know what happened next- Ale-I Manning to Beer David Tyree (what a good pick in the draft), the miraculous helmet catch, and a near-perfect season for New England ended in an 18-1 conclusion, as the bottled Big Blue were swimming in confetti in the Big Apple soon after.
No feelings were bottled-up in this game…
Understandably, in Massachusetts, spirits were wicked low, and where did they go? To a bar of course. NORM!
“Sammy, I’ve told you for years that beer saves all.”
5. SUPER BOWL XLIV: GAME MVP- ABE LINCOLN
Four Scores! … and seven years ago.
For a few brief hours, the “L” in NFL stood for Lincoln.
We all know Abraham Lincoln was a president, emancipator, and a vampire hunter, but do you remember Abe’s big-time appearance in the Super Bowl?
The bearded one was called in to play when Peyton Manning had to leave the game early to film an impromptu Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial. He ran out, flying past the cheerleaders, zooming by the mascots, with the glisten of anger in his eyes, sweat on his brow, and a chin beard so mighty, the heavens above stopped to gaze in majestic awe.
The stovetop hat was thrown down, the shoulder pads were thrust on, and that pigskin flew like you wouldn’t believe. It was going perfect, until… clumsy ox Drew Brees went down with a pulled hamstring on the slippery turf. And being the helpful chap he is, ‘ol Honest Abe took the reigns and stood in for him as well, changing uniforms as the Colts defensive squad ran out.
He abolished the slaves, and demolished the Colts…
As the clock struck zero, the Big Easy soon was celebrating with the sounds of jazz and firey-cajun food up the wazoo as Abe Lincoln received an early birthday gift- a declaration as Super Bowl MVP.
It was rumored plentiful posterior-ed socialite Kim Kardashian emancipated her relationship with then-Saints running back, Reggie Bush, that night to lock lips with the sixteenth prez.
And how did A-Linc become so good at football?
Just how you get to Carnegie Hall… Practice.
Note: Sadly, Lincoln’s pro-career was cut short the following pre-season when Ravens linebacker John Wilkes Booth broke Lincoln’s legs.
Enjoy your Super Bowl weekend! As usual, please Fed-Ex any uneaten chicken wings to me.
“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.
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.
Now, by comparison, here’s a cast photo in the show’s final (nauseatingly bad) season:
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
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.”
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!”
3. Estelle Winslow
SHOWDOWN! Her new hip is the new hip! A battle royale of this streetwise granny vs. yours truly
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.”
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.*
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.
No big loss, half of Richie’s paycheck went towards 70’s curl gel anyway.
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.
(wait for it…)
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.”
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.
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!
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!”
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:
The guys in Aerosmith who aren’t Steven Tyler or Joe Perry…
Sometimes you’re just that guy.
There’s a street, and while the name screams out a magical land of bagel toppings, it’s actually a place where jovial fur-covered monsters teach us our ABC’s, our 123’s, and the importance of sharing a bathtub with just that special rubber ducky.
♪ Can you tell me how to get… how to get to Sesame Street? ♪
Practice, practice, practice, and stick your hand up a puppet’s keister.
Too bad there’s only so many colors in the rainbow, because if you reside at 123 in the brownstone-laden land of Sesame Street, and you’re the blue monster who’s not Cookie Monster, then you’re that guy. And your name is Grover.
“What does ‘nom-nom’ even mean?!?”
I Got the Sesame Street Blues
While loveable and time-tested, being the second most popular blue Muppet means naturally, you’re gonna lash out to be noticed. So, when everyone and their grandmother is waxing poetic over that gravel-voiced, pre-diabetic Oreo-muncher, you spill some soup, toss out contractions completely from your vocabulary, pop on a cape, and hurl yourself out the window, cause you’re the redheaded blueheaded stepchild, and you’re getting some attention, come cookies or high water.
Enter, SUPER GROVER
He’s loveable, he means well, and he crashes more often than the Obamacare website. Heck, he even took time out of his busy schedule to protect our Thanksgiving from evil tryptophan and blowout Detroit Lions games.
Soaring like an eagle, Super Grover protects the skies of Gotham… on Turkey Day.
And if by this point something just looks slightly familiar about Super Grover, replenish those lost electrolytes and take a gander at this, gander-takers…
There’s a storm a-brewin’ and the forecast calls for a 100% chance of lightning bolts. They’re flashing all over Sesame Street and they’re leaving huge smoking craters all over the football field. This is a chicken-and-egg situation so gigantic, it’s like Big Bird squated his feathery-yellow self down and popped out a massive omelette right in front of us.
“Snuffy, breakfast is on me today!”
Be Like Mike
Simple answer to this origin… history lesson! But unfortunately, this thirst-quenching quest isn’t really that cut and dry…
Gatorade, America’s most popular sports drink, founded on the campus of The University of Florida in 1965, and currently owned by PepsiCo., has incorporated the lightning bolt into it’s advertising since 1970. Despite that, with a number of logo redesigns, it wasn’t until 2009 that the current “G-Series” logo was introduced with the bolt included.
Super Grover, the alter-ego of the Sesame Street character was introduced in the 1970’s, and used the “G” logo similar to the Gatorade font for decades, but it wasn’t until a 2010 re-branding that a lightning bolt was added to his costume.
So, while Gatorade was the first to use the lightning bolt, at the same time, Sesame Street can lay claim to the “G”. All of this nonsensical circular research is really enough to make you feel winded and sweaty.
“After all of this flying, I am going to need many sips of Riptide Rush to feel quenched!”
Lemon Lime or Lemon LIES?!?
So, if no one can officially produce concrete proof of placing their flag into the soil, it sunk in… maybe this is some kind of clever tie-in? Maybe coincidences are for squares… Cahoots! Cahoots I say!
After contacting both parties involved, here’s what I received back:
OFFICIAL STANCE FROM GATORADE/PEPSI CO.:
Thanks for writing to us. While I can’t comment on other consumer feedback, I can tell you that there is no official tie in between Gatorade and Super Grover.
I hope this helps.
Jenny Gatorade Consumer Relations A Division of PepsiCo
(sent on January 5, 2014)
OFFICIAL STANCE FROM SESAME STREET/THE JIM HENSON COMPANY:
No reply. (as of January 10, 2014)
“All of this reading and things are still fishy!”
So, all that work, and where does that bring us?
Gatorade can weave a clever yarn, but it’s impossible to overlook these little coincidences…
As recently as 2011, Sesame Place ran an on-can promotion with Pepsi, Gatorade’s parent company…
Well, I guess there has to be some kind of reward for suffering through a can of Diet Pepsi…
Sesame Street characters, Elmo and Abby Cadabby appeared in a segment with Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant, who has appeared in Gatorade commercials as recently as last year…
“Elmo help fix Kobe’s broken knee!”
Last year, Diet Pepsi used actress Sofia Vergara in a campaign. Sofia Vergara is essentially evolving into a giant, jiggly, impossible-to-understand, cartoonish Colombian Muppet as each day passes.
“I love PEEEEEPSI, and being on SEEEEEESSSSAME STEEEEEET.”
With Sesame’s tight-lipped stance, perhaps we’ll never know if this sports beverage and this puppet superhero are in bed together. Despite what Gatorade’s official statement is, like it or lump it, kids plopped in front of the tellie will know that lightning bolt, and when they cramp up on the soccer field this spring, we all know what beverage they’ll be handed first. To quote Ned Flanders, while this remains foggy, I’ll remain a bit of a “Suspocious Aloysius”.
In a year’s time, when we’re treated to “Grover Grape” flavor Gatorade, we’ll all know where that marriage began.
Looks like Oscar’s flavor is still not confirmed yet.
When you register for Twitter, the odds are really stacked against you, and that little fat-beaked, blue feathery tormenter is pulling the strings, laughing all the way to the bank.
Talk about fowl…
That’s more or less my personal experience with Twitter early on. Upon first use, it was a bit confusing- it lacked the flash and browser-freezing pizazz of MySpace in its heyday, and the alien layout seemed worlds away from the friendly confines of Zuckerberg land, AKA Facebook. The logo might as well have been a splotch of white bird poo instead.
But as time went by, living in a fast-paced world of retweets, short character limits, and starting every sentence with the “@” symbol didn’t seem as daunting as it originally did. Hey, if Kevin McCallaster could get used to his creepy torture basement and devil-furnace in Home Alone, then I could, suck it up, grow a beard, be a real man and tweet.
Yeah, we all know it’s the blue bird’s nest, but you’ve laid an egg of a nice little group of fellow social networking friends, and much like a comfy long-worn butt-imprint in the couch cushions, you’ve found yourself a sweet little groove to settle into.
Talk about happy endings… Maybe all it took was time! Maybe this Twitterin’ thing ain’t so bad after all.
Then Sydney Leathers came and ruined it all…
In a minor attempt at a self-deprecating tweet, I aimed to poke fun at Anthony Weiner’s texting buddy’s follower number comparing it to my modest amount of 172. I was expecting a far lower number, then, like a bucket of ice cold water right in the face, it hit home just how many more followers this faux celebrity had over me.
Let me put it this way, if my Twitter account was feeling like Kid N’ Play’s House Party, stupid Sydney Leathers just called the cops to break up the shindig at the best part.
“What you doin’ Leathers?”
THE BAD NEWS: These D-list celebs are milking their head-scratching 15 minutes of fame, with a shockingly high number of Twitter followers* that will make you barf, only to feel safe, then barf again.
THE GOOD NEWS: By the time you finish reading this piece, most of their 15 minutes will be well over.
Known For: Somehow being the trashier of the two parties involved in the embarrassing Anthony Weiner scandal. Since her admission that she and the disgraced politician had a “more than friendly” texting relationship, she’s taken lockjaw to her sputtering fifteen minutes of fame and is shamelessly following it into its grave.
Because there’s no high roads in Weinerville, Leathers bought a one-way ticket to the dump instead– quickly accepting an offer from Vivid Entertainment and embracing her current career as a wannabe adult-film star.
I’ll also save you the Hostel-esque torture of reading her painful Twitter feed: She hates Anthony Weiner. So much in fact, she mentions him in nearly every tweet and appeared uninvited to confront him at his concession party following his failed New York Mayoral campaign last week.
Plus, her last name is an insult to cows everywhere.
Current Number of Followers: 6,838
Scholarly Tweet: “Pretty sure breast implants are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” (9/5/13)
1992: Shooting Buttafuoco’s then-wife, Mary Jo, in the head at point blank range at her front door, leaving her seriously wounded, as if being married to him wasn’t painful enough.
1993: Served six years of a 5 to 15 year sentence in prison on charges of “first degree assault”.
2007: Turned troubled life around and started career as an adult entertainer.
2009: Signed a deal with Lee Entertainment to become a stripper, doing monthly shows. Stating she will proudly strip until, her fans say, “Dear, please put your clothes back on. You’re too old.” Which is so obviously true, it should’ve been done in big giant skywriting.
2013: Dwarfed me in Twitter followers, but in her defense, she still hasn’t shot anyone else.
Current Number of Followers: 16,361
Scholarly Tweet: “I read today I was a D-list celeb…that is so awsome, D is like 4th in the alphabet…. that’s pretty good… hee hee” (11/9/11)
Known For: Being the one guy in O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco who didn’t murder someone that June evening in 1994, eating McDonald’s with murderers, never having tied a tie in his life, managing to say the word “umm” more times on the witness stand than me trying to order at Starbucks, looking exactly like a guy named Kato Kaelin should look.
“Kato ate THIS MANY of my Chicken McNuggets!”
Current Number of Followers: 2,358
Scholarly Tweet: “If the saying” u are what u eat” then how come I’m not Chinese?” (6/12/13)
SHIFTY SHELLSHOCK (@shiftyrocks) (Spoiler alert: Shifty most certainly does not rock.)
Known For: Being the vocalist for early 00’s one-hit wonders, Crazy Town (this band), a sought-after gig that Sinatra could only wish he’d have lived to see, also a career of rehab reality shows that actually had more legs than his career as a musician. Dr. Drew sends him a fruit basket as thanks every Christmas.
(Blumes Fun Fact: Back in 2000, Shellshock’s imbecilic “Everyone PLEASE look at me!” appearance created a worldwide eyeroll so big, it actually tilted the Earth off its axis.)
Current Number of Followers: 2,977 (account hasn’t been used in nearly three years)
Scholarly Tweet: “Just left the Dentist, fun times….” (4/29/10)
Known For: Being the less-talented half of “Speidi”, the ultimate portmanteau of 21st Century incompetence. Aside from being married to fellow reality television star/socialite/plastic surgery guinea pig, Heidi Montag (of MTV’s The Hills fame), Pratt became infamous for ruffling feathers, frequenting social hotspots where paparazzi could find him, growing the most awkward beard humanly possible, and not having to resort to working in clown dunk tanks at county fairs… yet.
Current Number of Followers: 979,112 (For a comparison, that’s nearly ONE THIRD of the followers Pope Francis currently has. I’ll wait a minute so you can get Advil for your headache.)
Scholarly Tweet: “Some people say I’m all washed up. Joke’s on them – I haven’t bathed in weeks” (2/2/13)
Known For: Portraying super-geeky Samuel “Screech” Powers on multiple editions of 90’s high-school comedy series, Saved By the Bell. A squeaky-voiced clod with a terrifying white-guy afro who devolved into more of a bumbling boob-caricature as the series aged. The scientific term is “Urkeling” his character.
Diamond’s career was truly just a cubic zirconia, as he took a historic header straight down Crap Mountain– declaring bankruptcy, appearing on a variety of two-bit retread reality shows, failed attempts at music and comedy, along with marital troubles, online harassment, house foreclosure, and a released adult-video.
“Congrats Elizabeth Berkley! Unless there’s a Showgirls 2, you’re not going to win ‘Most Awkward Career Choice” at the next Saved By the Bell reunion!”
Current Number of Followers: 13,887
Scholarly Tweet: “Sometimes when I’m bored I lay on my kitchen floor and pretend I’m a crumb…” (7/8/12)
Blumes note: Of course this is all in good fun. In the end, quality reigns over quantity everytime. I’d take my excellent fellow Tweeters any day of the week over Kato Kaelin’s thousand of nameless cronies.
Heck, at least none of us lived with O.J. …I hope.
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 FabioTony 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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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
3. Walter Peck
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…)
If you grew up a fan of 90’s golden-era Nickelodeon, that tagline should be no stranger to you.
… but bad news, if it is, man, you’re getting old.
1. Take one part American Gladiators…
2. Eliminate the ‘roids, awkwardly patriotic spandex, and truckloads of greasy body oil…
3. Insert helmet-wearin’, cherub-face kiddies…
Voila! You now have Nickelodeon GUTS, the action sports competition that ran for four sweaty seasons on the kiddies’ cable network. Hosted by jolly comedic actor Mike O’ Malley, GUTS pitted three tween contestants against one another in several sporting events to win colored ranking medals.
The grand prize was a “glowing” trophy– a piece of the “Aggro Crag”, the giant fabricated mountain that served as the game’s final obstacle race. This prize apparently was so mesmerizing, it made the contestants forget Nickelodeon wasn’t giving them any actual money.
The kids were mildly adorable and goofball O’ Malley monopolized a majority of the screen time, but the real hidden GUTS-y gem was officiator/referee Moira “Mo” Quirk, owner of the most fun-to-impersonate accent to ever grace the channel.
For all of us Yanks who grew up only knowing Moira as “Mo the Ref”, you’d best know that black and white-striped ref jersey is just the tip of the iceberg for this talented British comedian/actress.
Moira has kept herself busy since the show’s ending in 1996. An established stand-up comedian who has also done extensive acting and voice-over work for shows such as Nickelodeon’s animated My Life as a Teenage Robot, the podcast series The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, Johnny Bravo, Happy Feet Two, and several video games.
You can currently catch Mo as the live-action host of the animated series Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps and a number of upcoming projects.
I was lucky enough to have Moira as my first-ever interview, and I couldn’t have asked for a better choice. Friendly, insightful, and always funny, we discussed that catchy-as-a-cold GUTS theme, conquering the rocky Crag, terrible British impressions, and what it’s like to be a Halloween costume.
Please check out Mo’s official site, and follow her on Twitter at @moiraquirkable. Your funny-bone will send you a Hickory Farms sausage and cheese gift basket as a thank you.
BLUMES: After seeing Nickelodeon revive their classic 90’s programming with their The 90’s Are All That!, do you ever take a moment to sit back and think that you were one of the most memorable faces from an era of television so many hold dear?
MO: Maybe it’s because I’m English, but no! I’m completely incapable of thinking that way! But I do encounter many, many people who watched GUTS and are happy to meet me, and yes, that is nice to feel I was a happy part of their childhood.
I once bumped into Billy Connelly and all I could do was say “Oh!” as I looked up at him, but I felt a rush of remembering my best friend and myself sneaking his albums from her father’s collection and listening to his quite naughty comedy and just laughing and giggling away secretly in her room. Of course, GUTS was not naughty or blue, but if I can elicit that same kind of “Oh!”, I’d say that’s quite nice.
Do you ever get the GUTStheme song stuck in your head out of nowhere? Seriously, sometimes I get that thing in my head and it’s harder to get out than peanut butter from the roof of your mouth.
Like an adventure hero who has inured himself to poison, it has no effect on me.
Have you kept in touch with Mike ‘O Malley over the years? Ever caught any of his television shows?
We do keep in touch. He’s busy with work and family. I’m busy with work and family, but we keep up with each other and I’m always happy to hear what he’s up to. I did watch the first season of Glee and thought he was amazing. A really touching performance- and Emmy nominated, I might add!
If you Google “Nickelodeon GUTS Halloween costume”, there’s many a photo of a group dressed as contestants, complete with a “Mo” ref. Now, I don’t know what it’s like to be a Halloween costume, unless “dorky white guy” becomes a popular costume next year. Is it as cool as I’m thinking it is?
Yes, it is just that cool. Also, as a practical person, I like how easy it is to assemble: a ref shirt, some ’90s spandex bike shorts and if you have a short, British woman to put in there, all the better.
In the years since GUTS, you’ve certainly amassed quite the impressive resume, including stand-up comedy, cartoon voice-over work, and acting in film, television and theater amongst other endeavors. Which has been your favorite to work on?
I did once get to say “if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!” as the villain on a Scooby Doo episode, and I walked on air for a week or two after that!
Lately I have been performing in and recording a fair number of plays for radio and that is wonderful. When I was a teen listening to plays on BBC Radio 4, I thought life would be pretty magnificent if I could do that. Now, I do. I get to do all sorts of plays from Restoration to Angry Young Man for LA Theatreworks/NPR and for the BBC. It’s lovely. But, whether it’s a game or a cartoon or a sitcom or web series, I really love my job!
Doing voice-over work for animation seems like a barrel of monkeys… are there any personal favorite cartoons you’d like to work on one day?
I don’t even know if they are still in production, but Phineas and Ferb. I love that show! It is built on a foundation of kindness and silliness and it really makes me laugh. My pal Dee Baker (also a Nickelodeon alum) voices Perry.
Who were your comedic inspirations growing up? Do you follow any current comedians?
I have been lucky enough to see Zach Galifianakis when he was doing open mics years and years ago. I’ve seen Eddie Izzard. I would have loved to see Mitch Hedberg. I love Maria Bamford and Jackie Kashian. I think Catherine Tate is wonderful.
There are all sorts of comedians I love. Eddie Pepitone and Frank Conniff always make me laugh. Wow, this is turning into a long- and obviously disjointed- list. When I was growing up we would always put in a Jasper Carrott tape in if we were going on a drive. He’s British and did story based comedy. Or some Monty Python.
Coming to America and going through my husband and uncle’s record collections introduced me to Bob Newhart and Bill Cosby among others. Currently, I’m watching Louie (Louie C.K.) on Netflix. I think he’s pretty amazing.
Funniest movie of all time??? GO!
Nope. Not fair! But, off the top of my head, here’s a list of movies I like to see about once a year:
Withnail and I
Some Like it Hot
The In-Laws- the original
40 Year-Old Virgin
Jeeves and Wooster (The Hugh Laurie/Stephen Fry version)
On your official site, you have a clip of your stand-up routine about Americans oddly imitating British accents. I am guilty of a pretty terrible one myself. Are we all that bad? Does every fake British accent mention tea? Cause that’s pretty much our go-to move.
For ‘go to’ moves it’s not a bad one. I believe my husband wins the prize for best worst English accent. It makes me cry… laughing.
Now, a couple questions about the “Aggro Crag” on GUTS, did you ever get a chance to climb that thing? Due to my petrifying fear of heights, I’d make it about 10 feet up and freeze. I would’ve been shown in GUTS blooper reels. Did they ever give you one of the glowing green prize trophy pieces to keep?
I did conquer the Crag. I do own a “piece of it.” It’s in the garage.
———————————————————— Since you are a professional comic, I’ll ask your opinion- I love to tell terrible jokes… Please rate this joke on a scale of 1-10 (1 being awful, 10 being a “better” awful):
Why did Dracula take cough medicine?
To stop his coffin.
Oh, that’s awfully good.
——————————————————— If we started a campaign to get you on Dancing With the Stars in a future season, how do you think you’d fare?
Um, not well.
What’s going on in Mo-Land these days? What are your current projects where we can see/hear/laugh along?
There’s a few actually. I’m in a new web series called “Dirty Work” . Check out this LA Times article.
I’m in the third season of the web series “Pretty”.
I recorded “Look Back in Anger” for LA Theatreworks, that has aired on various NPR stations nationwide.
“Dracula” will air on various NPR stations again this Halloween
I’m currently recording an X-Com game playing a cold and clinical scientist.
I have big intentions with regard to social media! Maybe actually pay attention to Facebook, and updating my woefully outdated website and YouTube channel, and, oh, I don’t know, actually starting tweeting (@moiraquirkable).
A big thank you to Moira Quirk for her time and for being a fantastic first interview on A Blumes With A View!
Anyone who knows relatively anything about anything knows that teen s-kicker sitcom, Hey Dude, is the best television show to ever grace the boob tube.
Well, maybe not exactly the best show ever, but if you grew up a healthy diet of late 80’s/early 90’s Nickelodeon fare, you’re no doubt as big of a fan of the western cowboy-comedy as I was.
The plot was your classic fish-out-of-water: A nerdy New York City accountant purchases the “Bar None Ranch”, an Arizona dude ranch smack dab in the barren desert, and brings his Hypercolor shirt-wearing son with him. Throw in a teenage staff of cowboys, Indians, and textbook white-boy slackers, and you’ve got yourself a Nick home run, and I don’t mean Swisher.
“Who you calling a fish out of water?!?”
There was goofball troublemaker Ted, and his on-again, off-again love interest, Brad, a rich girl with a boys’ name who was nowhere near as attractive as she was made out to be. Rounding out the bunch was goody two-shoes lifeguard Melody, Brendan Frasier-wannabe drummer Jake, pretty-boy cowboy Kyle, Lucy- the one actual adult who worked there, and last, but not least, Danny Lightfoot, a Hopi Indian who had a larger denim vests collection than Ernest P. Worrell. Lightfoot also was graced with a deep, spiritual kinship with the anhydrous desert land, the way Hollywood assumes all Native Americans do.
Danny (fourth from left) was peeved in this episode, as everyone put their money on him to go first in the “Hey Dude death pool”.
After the show’s cancellation in 1991, the teen cast mostly fell into adult obscurity. A few cast members kept their inconsequential relevance– protagonist Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin) did some minor acting on episodes of shows such as Seinfeld and ER, Ted (David Lascher) went on to co-star in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and Melody (Christine Taylor) most prominently became known as Mrs. Ben Stiller.
The parched tumbleweeds blew across the Duders world for years until an ordinary 2004 afternoon, when it was reported (albeit unconfirmed) that Joe Torres, the actor who played Danny, had passed away from liver failure.
This story could’ve been an immature internet hoax, or it could’ve been true, and that’s the sheer bloody genius of it.
Report that Brad Pitt jumped off a bridge or Kim Kardashian fell into a shark tank, and skeptical people will call shenanigans from the get-go. Report the quiet demise of an obscure actor from a nearly 20-year old kid’s cable show, and it becomes a lot harder to disprove.
Also, the longer the rumors went invalidated, the more believable the actor’s doom-and-gloom fate became. Was he still vertical? Or did the man-eating jack rabbits and killer cacti finally take Torres down?
(Yes, apparently Danny was a big Guns ‘N Roses fan. …but did he ever get to experience the forgettable phenomenon that was Chinese Democracy?)
Finding information on Torres is about as difficult as you’d imagine. Over the years, on his IMDB page, help was sparse at best. Mostly a bunch of occasional message board nerds doing message-boardy things, such as disputing his fate, discussing his mullet, and who saw him doing what, and where (not necessarily in that order).
Internet hearsay is absolutely worthless though. For all we really know, he was out playing darts with Elvis, country line-dancing with Tupac or maybe he was abducted by martians who were mistaken Clarissa Explains It All fans instead.
There were also stories that Torres packed his dusty bags and ended up on the East Coast. Some speculation pointed to him living in Tarheel country in North Carolina. Or maybe it was more plausible he simply dropped the “s” at the end of his last name, blew all of his Hey Dude savings at the plastic surgeon, then managed the Yankees to four World Series titles.
One man, four rings? Perhaps all those years of dealing with hothead Ted on the show prepared him to deal with Roger Clemens on the field?
Another possible theory was that Torres was still alive and working at a Toyota dealership in Runnemede, NJ. Any links on the website to his existence are gone, and this was the supposed picture of him from his shirt-and-tie job:
“He was known as ‘Sells’em Camry’ in used-car circles.”
Another theory that seemed to have legs was that Torres was still alive and kickin’… at a bar nonetheless. Some had claimed to see him frequent the World Famous Golden Nugget Tavern in Tuscon, Arizona.
Word on the sand has it that Torres is not someone you want to meet up with on the felt, as he’s quite the pool shark (just without his own week on cable every summer). This seemed to be more likely than the other scenarios, seeing as the Southwest was Torres’ old stomping grounds when Hey Dude filmed out there during its run.
After many failed attempts to find any contact source to help with Torres’ mysterious story, the simplest solution was get in touch with the Golden Nugget to see if they could shed any light on this Dude-er dilemma.
Following an inquiry to the establishment, I received a very helpful email from Tim Donaldson from the Golden Nugget. Donaldson kindly told me that Jose (Joe) “is alive and well”, thanked me for my message, and said he would pass it along to him.
Hey Danny, you’re alive! Don’t look so shocked.
So my fellow Nick fans, may this news make your late-summer week a little sweeter. We can all breathe a “yippe ki yi ya!” in relief that the rumors of the demise of Danny from Hey Dude, were just that- rumors. A bunch of speculative hogwash– no liver failure and no job selling Snooki a souped-up Corolla at a Jersey car dealership. Turns out our very favorite Hey Dude-er is just a former actor looking to kick back, sink the 8-ball in the corner pocket of his past, and enjoy his billard-loving privacy.
…unlike Sponge from Salute Your Shorts. We all know he’s really dead.