Friday, August 29, 2008

Al Brodax Toons

Thanks to Charles Brubaker for corrections to this post.

On our Paramount Cartoon Studios 1960's page, we have a major update on the Al Brodax-produced Beetle Bailey cartoons. We got our hands on the DVD release that came out last year and have the credits now for all but two cartoons. Paramount produced 30 of the 50 Beetle cartoons (all directed by Seymour Kneitel), with Gerry Ray/Geoff Pike's unit based in England doing 18 cartoons, one from Gerry Ray made in Hollywood in 1961, and one from Joe Oriolo, the first pilot from 1960 (as noted earlier on this blog).

On our page, we also now have all the titles listed for the "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith" cartoons, all 50 of which were produced at Paramount and again directed by the indefatigable Kneitel.

A lot of the English crew from the Ray/Pike version of Beetle Bailey were involved with the 1965 "Beatles" cartoon series, which was also produced by Al Brodax, such as Peter Gardiner, Cam Ford, Lief Gram, and Aubrey Stapleton. However, even the "Beatles" series had some oddball moments. A few of the early cartoons were produced in Hollywood and directed by a man more remembered as a cartoon writer, John W. Dunn (with help from Tom McDonald, on loan from Format Films). Animators included Dale Case, an acquaintance of John Dunn from the DePatie-Freleng studio (and Dale is the son of Disney animator Brad Case, who also later wound up at DePatie-Freleng). Here's an example of a US Beatles cartoon, "I'll Follow The Sun".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Strahan: "No Thanks, I'll Stay Retired"

Michael Strahan put the rumors to bed when he disclosed that he will not return to the Jets to supplant an ailing teammate (see several posts below this one).

Say A Prayer...

for voice over legend Don LaFontaine, in Cedars Sinai with a blood clot in his lung.

Life Is One Big List

When we celebrated the 100th anniversary of John Wayne's birth, we ran a quote by the New York Daily News' resident commentator on just about everything, David Hinckley, the gist of which was that men treat life as one big to-do list and the adventure is crossing things off. Dave Freeman knew that and authored a book called "100 Things To Do Before You Die".

We wonder if Dave Freeman himself had a similar list, and how much of it he accomplished, now that we've gotten this shocking and tragic news.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vote for Me!

Or, you can elect someone more worthy of the title...

Stage Set For Strahan's Return?

According to reports, the New York Giants are trying to lure Michael Strahan out of retirement. The defensive great for the Giants retired just after the team's Super Bowl XLII win last February. But Osi Umenyiora, heir apparent to Strahan at defensive end, is going to be down for the season with damage to one of his knees. I heard a weekend sports guy on one of the New York stations just casually mention after reporting on Umenyiora's injury, "Wouldn't it be something if Michael Strahan came back?"

My initial reaction was, "You're already in Canton, Michael. Don't push it." But, I think squeezing another year out of Strahan would be a great move for the Giants, who really need star power back on their team, now that the balance of power in the Meadowlands has shifted over to the Jets with their acquisition of Brett Favre (there are already #4 jerseys for $80 in the Sports Authority). And Strahan knows the position, knows the Giants system... it's their best bet.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ken Levine's Place In Jingle Lore

Ken Levine is an Emmy-winning writer for television, writing shows like "M*A*S*H" and "Cheers". He also has a blog which is quite fun to read and as such is on our blogroll. He's also a baseball fan and broadcaster. But he also has a lot of radio in his blood, and I ran across something interesting last night. Levine participated in one of the greatest jingle demo tapes of all time.

For the uninitiated, jingle production companies like JAM Creative Productions, Inc. would create new packages of jingles to syndicate to radio stations, usually piloted at a certain station. In 1978, JAM created its first custom package for WLS in Chicago called "Class Action", featuring its star deejay of the time, John "Records" Landecker. JAM's owner and founder, Jon Wolfert, created one of the most entertaining demos ever made, mixing the cuts in with phone calls purportedly from listeners. Much of it was adlibbed, and one of those callers was Ken Levine. He's the guy who's asking what the jingles would sound like for stations whose call letters began with "K" (usually indicating a station west of the Mississippi, but there are exceptions like KYW in Philadelphia). There's a great bit at the end with "your local announcer" (actually WABC's Dan Ingram!), crafted entirely from outtakes and cut number calls taken from other packages (perhaps Pro Mod?)

Anyway, here is the link to more info on the Class Action demo, including a link for download

One Final Word On The Olympics

From Star Spangled Canuck

And that's really all I have. No more Olympics for me until 2010. Good night, Beijing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


One of you Mets wanna get a hit? Please? I would really hate to see Backe get a no-no right in the middle of this Mets hot streak.

Thanks, Ryan Church!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Latest Olympics Controversy

Perhaps goaded into it by NBC's rah-rah USA coverage of the games, the International Olympic Committee is asking for an investigation of members of China's women's gymnastic team, which is rumored to include athletes who are well under the age limit of 16. (I don't hear a lot of hue and cry from NBC for someone, anyone to check 16-year-old Shawn Johnson's paperwork.)

If the China team members are stripped of their medals, the USA would be bumped to team gold. Individually, so would Nastia Liukin, who technically tied with He Kexin (one of those under scrutiny) on the uneven bars, but was awarded the silver medal on the basis of a tiebreaker.

Makes a doping scandal seem quaint, now, doesn't it?

Mets Sweep Braves

Five years ago, this headline would have meant a lot more than it does now, simply because the Braves are just not the team they used to be. Well, there are a few familiar faces still there from the team's glory days like Chipper Jones, but these guys simply are not up to the standard that won them the division title for many years in a row. The Mets have bigger things to worry about like the Phillies and (my sister hates when I call them this name) the Marlenes.

Also, Monday is the day that Shea Stadium seats go on sale for $895 the pair. It's been speculated that Yankee Stadium seats will go for at least double that, if not more.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Professional Bowlers' Tour Opening Titles

Ah, Saturday afternoons in the winter when I was a kid. Back when we tributed Chris Schenkel at his September 2005 passing, we talked a little about the "Professional Bowlers Tour" TV show wich aired on ABC. This was the version of the main title used from 1974-1976. Dave Diles is reading the billboards, music by Edd K.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christina Applegate's Double Mastectomy

Hopefully, she's made the right choice, but as all readers of this blog know, a double mastectomy is no guarantee that the cancer will never recur. She made the same choice my first wife did, and hopefully it will work for her. I wish Christina all the best and hopefully she will continue to have a long, healthy life and career.

Perhaps the last high-profile celebrity to have had similar surgery was Ann Jillian, who had appeared in sitcoms like "It's A Living" and "Jennifer Slept Here". I don't think Ann underwent reconstruction surgery like Christina plans to, which meant less daring waitress costumes for her when she returned to "It's A Living" after her surgery.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Well, Here It Is

Eat and enjoy.

Back In Time

Our Blog Archives have now been officially married. There were two different archives at one point, with January 2003 being the cutoff point. We now have merged all the archives thanks to the Import and Export functions in Blogger In Draft. And the process of titling and adding comments and checking pictures begins anew...

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Here's a new way for the MDA to raise money for Jerry's Kids... auctions! Don't know if they tried it this year, but hopefully it will work for them.

Or else Jerry Lewis will hold a gun to your head!

Yet Another Newish Look Update

We have finished the task of "titling" our posts and all the archives are solid. We are still looking for some missing graphics. The one that's eluding us the most is the picture of the Mets fan holding up the sign saying FIRE ART HOWE. If you know of one, point us to it. (Art Howe was three managers ago, so that will give you some idea of how long ago that was.) We have all the vacation pictures from last year somewhere, so that's the only other major thing that's missing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Things I Will Not Miss About Chris Russo

WFAN announced yesterday that Chris Russo has left the station, presumably to go work for Sirius Satellite Radio. My WFAN listening is not as constant as it was in my single days; however, I have had an inkling that Mike and The Mad Dog were not going to be a team any longer. Mike Francesa has signed a new contract to continue as a solo act on the station.

However, here's what I won't miss about the Mike and The Mad Dog Show.

1. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYBODY!" This opening made it seem like it was Chris' show and Mike was just along for the ride. At least they could have taken turns opening the show.

2. The Giants. Not the New York Giants, but the San Francisco Giants, which Chris was so enamored of. Yeah, that plays really well on a NEW YORK sports station. If you're going to work in a market, get behind that market's teams, "will ya please?" (to borrow a Russo catch phrase).

But what will I miss? The unique chemistry these two brought to the air. The best radio partnerships have some yin and yang to them. Mike Francesa was all about connections (right, Bill Parcells?) and knowledge. Chris Russo was all about noise. But in more civil times, these two really clicked and made for listenable radio.

Another Newish Look Update

We're in the process of converting our blog posts to Actual Titles, rather than the old "h2" at the start of the body of each post. In so doing, the only content changes we are making is that prior to the 7000th game, we are incrementing the numbers of games in which the Mets have participated by eight, to account for the fact that our no-no-hitter counter was off by eight games through game 6999. There is a post somewhere that addresses why.

We will try to locate missing graphics and videos, but in some cases where a video is unavailable due to a rights issue, we will insert a comment so saying, rather than leaving the carcass of the YouTube player up on the post. Some of the replaced graphics may not match the original graphics but will be in the same spirit as those replaced.

Thank you and happy reading!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So True

Here's a blog post from Matt Roush, who seems to swallow the NBC Olympic line hook, line and sinker.

However, scroll down the page, where a user comment rings truer than anything else on the page:
The coverage of the Olympics on NBC is a disgrace. Whole swathes of sports are ignored while primetime NBC shows almost 24 hour old footage of women's gymnastics qualifying.

Swimming is billed as live despite it happening 5 hours ago. The Chinese have already arranged the swimming finals to co-incide with U.S. prime time viewing. At least show them live.

As for the little "heart warming" stories go, who cares? Save them for when there is no live sport to show.

It would have been nice to have watched the opening ceremony with the rest of the world too.

Thank heavens for the BBC and their excellent, jingo free, live Olympics service on their sports website.

The Olympics are meant to be a celebration of the world coming together in the spirit of competition and peace. NBC manage to change it into another "America against the world" event instead.

"Millionaire", For The Last Time

In markets that get two episodes of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire", you should be able to see my episode this coming Thursday, for hopefully the last time in syndication until GSN picks it up in the year 2014.

Newish Look Update

We found a lot of the missing graphics and have restored them to the blog posts. I will try to find the vacation photos from last year.

Also, you may notice some funky formatting on some old posts - we're trying to catch as many of those as possible. More tweaks to come!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Church, Steeple, People

My church's version of the ad that the United Church of Christ hopes to raise funds to air nationally. This was shot by my wife Tracy and edited by our Youth Pastor Adam Tietje, whose blog now is part of our blogroll.

Our Newish Look

Hey, it's a Blogger template, but that's just the start.

YOU CAN NOW COMMUNICATE WITH DAVE THROUGH COMMENTS! Huzzah! Be advised that you have to be a registered Google/Blogger user, you may have to type in some nonsense words like DYSKJDS and I will sift through your comments. If it is cogent, even if I don't agree with your opinions, I will post it. But be concise. "Your blog sucks" just doesn't cut it with me.

We are going to be tarping up some of our other pages as well to bring them up to standard. And we are going over our old pages and fixing broken links and maybe including some updates as comments! Keep watching.

And yes, Earl, I took pity on you and added you back to my blogroll.

Monday, August 04, 2008

What a Weekend for Music!

Saturday, I took the family to Atlantic City to see the American Idols tour. Strange that they can say American Idols but cannot use the show's logo - perhaps some sort of legal thing with Fremantle. Who did I like the best? Carly Smithson, of course. The reactions to the Idol top ten only intensified as each one got closer and closer to Your American Idol, David Cook.

Sunday, I volunteered at Toms River Fest, working the north gate. Believe it or not, the gate is a pretty good place to hear the music. Avril Lavigne was pretty good but only gave her fans 40 minutes of music instead of the advertised 85. Daughtry is a true talent and he and his band gave a very well received performance.

When TR Fest premiered three years ago, in 2005, it was four days, all day, and just a bloated presentation. The 2006 version slimmed each day down somewhat, but the new streamlined two-day format is much better. I think the ticketing aspect was much better managed this time out, and processing people into the festival was a lot easier with barcoded tickets and hand scanners. Only those people wishing to come back needed to be wristbanded. It was a pleasure working the North Gate with my new boss at North Dover Elementary, Ed Keller, and other volunteers from my school as well as High School South. Can't wait to do this again next year - and please don't make us wait until 2010!

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Blogroll

As time permits, I am going to be making some changes to the Blogroll. I hear that Blogger now has a built-in tool to manage the Blogroll, so I will try that. I am looking to have something that will rank the blogs for freshness.

That means you, Earl Kress, aren't going to be that far up on the blogroll unless you get off your butt and start posting a little more.

The Puzzle Brothers Will Be Back

We are on a brief vacation (we forgot to renew the domain) - we will be back very soon.