Skip to content

Category: Humor

Adam West – R.I.P.

Posted in Celebs, Comics, Humor, RIP, and TV

Adam West passed away last night after short battle with leukemia surrounded by his family.

West, known as tv’s Batman, is (along with Leonard Nimoy as Spock) perhaps the best example of the danger of typecasting.  Chosen to play the Caped Crusader for television, West shot to such fame that he had trouble finding new leading roles when Batman ended.  Yet he persevered and in later years did very well on the convention circuit meeting fans who couldn’t wait to get an autograph and photo with Batman.

I was seven years old when Batman premiered.  Adam West instantly became one of my childhood heroes.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

10 Invasive Facts About “Mars Attacks”

Posted in Celebs, Horror, Humor, Movies, and Trivia

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 10 Invasive Facts About Mars Attacks.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. BURTON WANTED HIS MARTIANS TO BE ANIMATED VIA STOP-MOTION.
The concept of a Mars Attacks! movie first surfaced in 1985, but development wouldn’t begin in earnest until 1994, when screenwriter John Gems and director Tim Burton got involved with the project. To bring the aliens to life, Burton intended to utilize stop-motion animation, something he’s “always [loved] and always will.”

Early in pre-production, a set of 12-inch articulated Martian models were built for testing purposes. At first, Burton’s plan was to have these animated in front of a blue screen. They would then be inserted digitally onto miniature sets by the artists at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Ultimately, though, Burton decided to abandon the stop-motion approach when ILM presented him with some impressive screen tests featuring computer-animated aliens.

Despite this, Mars Attacks! still pays tribute to the older effects technique. At Burton’s instruction, ILM animated the digital extraterrestrials as if they were stop motion puppets. This is why the Martians move a bit more rigidly than did most contemporary CG characters, such as the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park (1993).

4. WHY DID SO MANY CELEBRITIES JOIN THE CAST? THANK JACK NICHOLSON.
Let’s do a quick head count. Glenn Close, Martin Short, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Michael J. Fox, and Sarah Jessica Parker are just a few of the big names on this movie’s mile-long list of stars. And yet, when the casting process began, Mars Attacks! struggled to attract any players with serious marquee value. Gems blames this on the fact that most of its characters either die in some cartoonish manner or end up disfigured.

“Agents didn’t want to see their star clients playing loser roles, and a lot of big acts passed on the project,” he says. “At one point, we thought we were going to have to cancel the film. The guy who saved our butt was Jack Nicholson.” According to Burton, the Academy Award-winner was enthusiastic about joining Mars Attacks! from the very start. After sending Nicholson the script, Burton gave him a call while location-scouting. “Which part would you like to do?” asked the director. “How about all of them?” Nicholson replied.

In the end, he was double-cast as President Dale and a sleazy Vegas businessman. Once word got around that Nicholson would be involved, other celebs lined up to join the ensemble. “We started getting requests from more stars than there were parts for,” Gems notes. “It was like a tidal wave when Jack came on.”

9. INDEPENDENCE DAY OWES ITS TITLE—AND PART OF ITS PREMISE—TO MARS ATTACKS!
While Burton toiled away on Mars Attacks!, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich were writing an alien invasion movie of their own, but theirs was to have a more serious tone. The duo knew that both pictures would be released at some point in the summer of 1996.

“I said to Dean, we can’t do our film after a parody comes out. We had to beat [Burton] to it,” Emmerich recently said in an interview with The Guardian. “If it came out on the 4 July weekend, we would beat Mars Attacks!, which was coming out in August. So we wrote the concept around the release date. Dean said: ‘Let’s just call it Independence Day; we can come up with something better later.” The rest is history.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Director: Howard Hawks

Screenplay: Dudley Nichols & Hagar Wilde from a story by Hagar Wilde

Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Charles Ruggles

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a screwball romantic comedy!”

Tagline: And so begins the hilarious adventure of Professor David Huxley and Miss Susan Vance, a flutter-brained vixen with love in her heart!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

From the moment Susan [Hepburn] meets David Huxley [Grant], a mild mannered zoologist who is about to be married, she falls for him.   Hoping the opposites attract, the crazy, fun-loving Susan tricks David into a road trip.

Bringing Up Baby reminded me of an extended episode of I Love Lucy and that’s a good thing.

 

Rating:

13 Things You Didn’t Know About “The Dick Van Dyke Show”

Posted in Celebs, Humor, Trivia, and TV

Eddie Deezen and Neatorama present 13 Things You Didn’t Know About The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Here are three of my favorites…

4. The show was not successful in its first season and was actually cancelled by CBS. Producer Danny Thomas had to personally go to the network execs and convince (beg) them to leave the show on the air. The show picked up steam during summer reruns that year, remained on the air and became the “classic” series we all know. Ironically, after star Van Dyke decided to end the series after it’s five-year run in 1966, it was the CBS executives who begged him to stay on.

7. Buddy Sorrel, the wise-cracking joke writer played by Morey Amsterdam, was actually based on Mel Brooks, who was originally a comedy writer and worked with the show’s producer Carl Reiner on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows in the 1950s.

9. The show was usually filmed before a studio audience, but was not on at least three occasions. One was on the day of JFK’s assassination- November 22, 1963. On that day, in the middle of rehearsals, the cast heard about the president’s assassination and decided to go ahead and film the episode “Happy Birthday and Too Many More” anyway. However, it was decided that they would do the episode with no studio audience, figuring no one would be in the mood to laugh at such a time.

In the Money (1958)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

In the Money (1958)

Director: William Beaudine

Screenplay: Al Martin

Stars: Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements and Patricia Donahue

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make another Bowery Boys picture!”

Tagline: Nutnicks on the Loose in old London!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

Satch is hired to be a dog-sitter on a transatlantic cruise; but the reality is that he’s being used as a patsy to smuggle diamonds!

Rating:

Up in Smoke (1957)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

Up in Smoke (1957)

Director: William Beaudine

Screenplay: Jack Townley

Stars: Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements and David Gorcey

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make another Bowery Boys picture!”

Tagline: HOLY SMOKE! They’re Raisin’ The Devil!…and SATAN’S WAITIN’ to take them BELOW!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

When Satch loses money for a child’s charity, he sells his soul to the devil in order to be able to pick horse race winners for a week.

Rating:

Looking for Danger (1957)

Posted in Humor, Movies, and Z-View

Looking for Danger (1957)

Director: Austen Jewell

Screenplay: Elwood Ullman

Stars: Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements and Lili Kardell

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s do another Bowery Boys movie!”

Tagline: It’s a royal delight when Sach crashes the Sultan’s harem and teaches the gals with the seven veils to rock ‘n roll!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

The boys remember the time during the war when they were sent to spy behind enemy lines in an Arabian land disguised as Nazis.

Rating:

11 Tiny Errors You Never Noticed in “The Andy Griffith Show”

Posted in Humor, Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents 11 Tiny Errors You Never Noticed in The Andy Griffith Show.  Here are three of my favorites…

ANDY REFLECTS – “The Bookie Barber”

Outside the barber shop, Andy tells Barney that one of his ears is longer than the other. After the quip, he walks off camera, presumably down the street. However, as soon as he exits the frame, watch the glass of the shop window. In the reflection, you can see Griffith immediately stop and hunch over, presumably under the camera. He awkwardly stands there for the rest of the shot.

TUBA – “The Mayberry Band”

You can see the reflection of the film crew and equipment in Andy’s tuba. Though warped around the curve of the horn, it’s an interesting glimpse at the set, as you can see ladders and rigging.

BARNEY IS PLUGGED IN, TOO – “Opie the Bird Man”

A handful of episodes later, another microphone cable can be spotted, running up Don Knotts’ pant leg. Look for it in an overhead shot, when Andy and Barney talk to Opie, who has climbed up a tree.