I watched Transporter 3 this weekend on HBO. Totally rocked. After that the tv drifted on to Evita, the musical story of Eva Peron played by Madonna. That made me think of the original Broadway commercial which I most likely saw on the cable in my misspent youth.

And that made me think of Slim Whitman and SCTV.

SCTV was kind of spotty at best, but when they were good, they were really good. I've watched this about 5 times recently and it makes me laugh a good, hearty laugh. I can't even see Mandy Patinkin singing that without expecting him to spike it into a yodel.


Dunkin' Donuts

Here's one I was thinking of for a while but couldn't find. The key was searching for Michael Vale (the guy who played Fred the Baker).

This is a classic of commercial comedy. I love the finger over the mustache and the line "No... ma'am". Excellent!

Vale did over 1,300 commercials before retiring in 1997. He was best known for his work with Dunkin' Donuts. Remember this classic?


Sylvania beat Sony again?

Nandeska means "What is this?" according to Google. This one still sticks in my mind. To this day if I come across something that is outrageous, I'll say "nandeska". I encourage you to do the same.


Obviously the Vlasic pickle stork is imitating Groucho Marx. I wonder if kids these days would get that. The thing most striking and memorable about this one to me is the bit at the end in Japanese. No doubt it was responsible for generating a ton of pig-Japanese linguistics in grade schools of the day... not from me, though. Really.


In 1986 Maximum Overdrive was released. FINALLY, an adaptation of a Stephen King work directed to precisely meet the author's vision. It was directed by Stephen King himself... He was never allowed to direct again and there was much rejoicing.

Memorable bits from MO: Yeardly Smith in a pre-Lisa Simpson performance repeatedly whining "Curtusss!", and my favorite line "Don't make me a widduh on mah weddin' day!" I love Yeardley Smith and she was supposed to be a shrill woman. She was nowhere near that shrill or annoying when I met her back in '99. She was quite lovely.

Also a favorite line: "You sure make love like a hero" - uddered by Brett (Laura Harrington) to Bill Robinson (Emilio Estevez) after a sweaty and otherwise drab love-making session amidst all the death at the Dixie Boy truck stop.

The most lasting remnant of Maximum Overdrive is the soundtrack by AC/DC. Strangely it was not called Maximum Overdrive -Soundtrack, but Who Made Who: which caused English majors everywhere to stamp their feet and cry "It should be Who Made WHOM!" Still. A good soundtrack and unofficial greatest hits album. I bought the cassette (anyone remember those?) the day after seeing MO at the Hollywood Theatre in downtown Sioux Falls.


Consumer Catalog

They ran Consumer Information catalog all the time in the late 70s/ early 80s. I recall seeing one of these back in the day and they really did have some information on most any subject. You could get the booklets in other public places as well. I recall grabbing a buttload of them and marking them up with my friends to make them funny.

These commercials are responsible for me knowing by heart the zip code of Pueblo Colorado. This information has yet to come in handy.

The Master

The Master came on TV at just the right point in my life. I'd been into martial arts for a while, watching USA Network's Kung Fu Theater and taking Tae Kwon Do. Ninjas were just the coolest. They had the gadgets and the secret death touch, and the mad killing skillz, yo.

The show itself was okay. It was kind of like The Incredible Hulk in that the heroes wandered from town to town, established the characters in the town and then beat the bad guys up. Lee Van Cleef played the Master. He would spout wisdom for a while and when it came time to kick ass, he put on the mask and the stuntman would do the rest. It was long bits of boring plot interrupted by kick-ass fight scenes at 7:25 and 7:50. It was some of the fastest martial arts action on the tube at the time and I loved it for that.

This is obviously the German language version. I used it for it's kick-ass video quality and bass response. Kick ass theme song by Bill Conti.


The new dance craze that's sweeping the nation

Sometimes in the heat of the summer, tossing and turning in the night, I awake with this song going through my head. The only thing that can relieve my anguish is listening to Supertramp in my conversion van at full volume.


R2-D2 caught smoking

Remember this classic PSA? C3PO catches R2 smoking and... wait. Droids don't have lungs. The logic fails pretty quickly.

The main lesson here is that smoking isn't grown up. That's right kids; Smoking is childish. Don't grow up too fast. Stay young as long as you can with Morley Jr. brand cigarettes!

It's for your own good

The best way to reach children who have control over what they eat for lunch is with puppets. Don't listen to the freakin' ostrich! Eat the cake!

Now the preacy puppet is telling you what you can do with your money. I've been saving up for a swell dolly for a while now. Every time I get enough money, they make a better, more expensive dolly. The one I have in mind now is fully functional and cleans up with a hose.

Here they explain what a commercial is. They fail to mention PSAs and other federal obligations.

Hey kids! We know you love the disco music! We can dig. Do you know what else is cool? Puppets and vegetables! Now ease on down the road to... ah, screw it. Eat your damn vegetables or no cake.

Note an early appearance of Toys R Us mascot Jefferey Giraffe.

Another Junior Consumer Tip from the Better Business Bureau. I know some adults who could learn from this one.