It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Matt and I are back with a festive Purple Stuff Podcast episode for you.
Currently, I’d imagine you’re immersed in holiday shopping, getting stuck in copious amounts of traffic, and getting tanked on some kind of Christmasy concoction. As I write this, I’m super behind with my own holiday celebration. My tree is up, but it’s still not trimmed. I’ve only watched Christmas Vacation and Scrooged so far, but I have a pile of Christmas DVDs that I still want to get to before December ends. I’m also hoping my mom or Miss Sexy Armpit makes me my favorite Christmas cookies. Beyond those traditions, the one thing I never fail to keep up with is my Holiday playlist.
Since I have a long commute for work, I get to enjoy the giant Holiday playlist that I’ve created over the years in my iPhone. Listening to these songs everyday through the end of November and all of December made it easy for me to bring some more playlist ideas to you in the latest edition of The Purple Stuff Podcast.
This is our 2nd Christmas songs podcast. If you haven’t heard our previous one, it’s episode 17 in our feed. I know some people are not big fans of Christmas music, but it’s incredibly nostalgic for the both of us and it remains a big part of our seasonal celebrations. So, in this episode, Matt and I offer up some Christmas song suggestions for you. These tracks range from traditional to obscure, but they’re all worth a few minutes of discussion. Whether it’s Whitney Houston or The Whirling Dervishes, we’re delivering an hour of audio cheer.
If you’re not already subscribed, it would be awesome if you did! If you like listening to us, one of the easiest way to support us is to leave us a positive review on iTunes! Thanks for listening and we hope you have an awesome holiday season!
Word on the social media street is that this Halloween season was painfully mediocre. While I can’t speak for everyone else, I feel like this Halloween will go down in my own personal Halloween Hall of Fame. To its credit though, as standard as it may have been, there was still enough stuff for me to write a giant recap post about it all, so dig in and enjoy! Happy Halloween!
First and foremost, our Halloween Special this year was our most batshit crazy one ever! I was really happy with it and we received a ton of amazing feedback. Thank you so much for watching it and if you haven’t yet – check it out at the link above! Special thanks to our cast and crew and New Needle Productions. Check out New Needle’s page for their annual Halloween Short!
PODCASTING AND BLOGGING
The Purple Stuff Podcast took a short break, but we will be back! In the meantime, I was a guest on the annual Nerd Lunch Halloween Show. Will from Casserole of Disaster joined us as we created Scary Movie Menus. It was a fun show so give it a listen! You can check it out at the Nerd Lunch site.
Dex over at AEIOU and Sometimes Why interviewed me for his Halloween Memories Series. It was very cool of him to invite me on there. You can check out the post HERE where I discuss Halloween memories, costumes, and other anecdotes, some that I haven’t shared anywhere else!
Not actual food, but I got one at a place that serves food, so this counts: McDonald’s offered The Great Pumpkin Trick or Treat Pails which were a huge win. Celebrating the 50th birthday of this classic Halloween TV Special, these pails are very cool. Even if you don’t collect these, their lineage ties back to the ’80s when McD’s released their McBOO pails!
There was so much pumpkin flavored stuff that hit the grocery store shelves this season that they forgot to make it feel important. Rather than make a big deal about some of these products with a promotional tie-in to Halloween, it seemed like shelves were flooded with Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn everything and not many of them had a Halloween vibe. I really hope that we see some strong, more blatant Halloween tie-ins in the future. The “Fall” offerings are usually weak. Let’s get some more spooky imagery on packaging and in commercials! I was still impressed with the Reese’s commercials, although it feels like they air only like a week before Halloween, which sucks.
After thinking on it, I agree with Matt, the pumpkin spice gimmick is getting a little long in the tooth. The only area where it will never get old is probably coffee, because there’s something about pumpkin flavored coffee that has become truly synonymous with the season. Although, as Starbucks highlighted, you don’t necessarily need pumpkin flavor to create a killer Halloween drink. Their Frappula came back this year and they even had an amazing poster touting it where the Frappula had bat wings.
Kool-Aid’s Ghoul-Aid changed its formula and not for the better. If you’ve ever had cough medicine, you know what I mean. The old blackberry formula was delicious and now it seems like they needlessly changed it and I barely heard anyone talking about it this year except to complain.
Butterfinger Skulls were pretty badass. If it wasn’t for their cardiac arrest inducing fat content, I’d be more upset to see them go.
Even though Ecto-Cooler came back way before Halloween time, it’s still on shelves, so it can loosely be considered part of this year’s Halloween season. The release of the new Ghostbusters on video and on demand definitely fell in the prime time of the season and that brought us the insane Wayback Burgers promotion. A Slimer Shake AND a Ghostbusters burger made for a tie-in of epic proportions. Thus far, it’s been pretty much the leader this year in terms of cool stuff.
In terms of cereal, Halloween Crunch still remains at the top for me even though the box art stayed the same this year. As for other cereals, Cheerios got into the Pumpkin Spice mix. I searched like a madman and finally bought roughly 18 boxes and had a tough time finishing half of one box. It’s heavier on the spice rather than the pumpkin, but at least they gave it a shot. Maybe if they went with a more mellow pumpkin flavor and did a Great Pumpkin tie-in too? You can’t go wrong with the Peanuts.
In this post, I will brag twice. I try to keep it to a minimum, but these are instances where it’s worthwhile. First, the Japanese Halloween Garlic Doritos. I hadn’t even the slighest clue that these would ever be made when I brought them up as an idea I had on The Purple Stuff with Matt. I just conjured up a product I would like to see made and BAM, a year later, they exist…but only in Japan. We ordered them and I wasn’t a big fan of the texture or flavor as it was a little different than the Doritos here, but it was still incredible that this became an actual thing. The spooky bag art was cool too!
I must say that I came right out immediately and called it from the beginning: the Monster Cereal Election tie-in was pure garbage! For me, and I know many of you as well, the Halloween season is pure escapism. We can travel back in time and recall memories of Halloweens of the past and we can delve into other horrific worlds while watching or reading spooky movies or books. Infusing some convoluted Monster Mascot election into the promotion of the cereal this year was utter nonsense. It brought us out of the nostalgia factor for those cereals and reminded us about the most mocked presidential election in U.S history. I felt like I was really onto something with the Monster High tie-in that I brought up on the Purple Stuff as well as on Twitter many times.
Matt at Dinosaur Dracula continues to enthrall nostalgia nuts with his monthly Fun Pack. His Halloween Fun Pack was one for the ages this year. You can subscribe at his website www.dinosaurdracula.com
8 Bit Zombie released one of their coolest and most unique items ever: The Monster Squad Lunchbox and Glass set. The cartoonish art by Matt Skiff is freaking awesome and the whole idea of this set brings me back in time. It’s such a cool addition to my collection.
If you haven’t visited the Cryptocurium, Jason McKittrick has been creating his own horror inspired sculptures and magnets for a while now. He’s done a hell of a job with his monthly Trick or Treat subscriptions this season.
Rob Zombie and Fright Rags tagged up to release a bunch of cool Rob Zombie related tees and sweatshirts. As always, the artwork was superior!
We were blessed with insane Zombie straws and a Pumpkin shaped Slurpee cup both from 7-11.
Artist Travis Falligant @IBTrav has been killing it with his Lost Mysteries pins and now he has Halloween Costume Kits for sale! The “Dead Dame” is in the style of Frankenhooker and it is perfect…but it’s now SOLD OUT! I’m glad I ordered early.
We’ve seen the release of a lot of cool pins and tees this season, although Matt Skiff’s Spooky Storyteller inspired by Curly the Skeleton from Goosebumps was a standout for me.
Tyler Ham aka @Ham_FX created a print mashup of Halloween III and The Great Pumpkin and it was GLORIOUS!
My friend Bob helped me realize that one of the most simple and dare I say overlooked aspects of this season was Walmart’s clothing offerings. They had horror t-shirts including Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, NMOES, and Hellraiser, as well as lounge pants, which are awesome. I instagrammed a pic of the lounge/pajama pants that I bought and I’vee been wearing them like crazy. They’re comfortable and they even have pockets, which is key for me. I need somewhere to put my phone once in a while.
The reboot film, Welcome to Monster High, came out for one day only at the end of August in theaters and then went to video and on demand. I saw it in the theater and absolutely loved it. I was actually surprised at how much of a jump it made from a quality standpoint compared to their previous movies. The storytelling was simple, dialogue was fun, voice work was on point, and the CG animation looked absolutely fangtastic (I had to!) I consider this part of the Halloween season since it really hit the world in early September. As if a brand new rebooted film wasn’t enough, the doll line was rebooted as well. And to put the exclamation point on the season on the Monster High front, the Lady Gaga Monster High doll was finally officially announced and went up for pre-order in mid-October. This doll had a long history and to see the attention to detail that it has received is awesome. It won’t arrive to The Sexy Armpit HQ until end of December/early January, but I’d say it really capped off a fine Monster High season.
MOVIES, TV, and MUSIC
Saturday Night Live created another classic Halloween sketch with a character who will be everywhere in future Halloweens: David Pumpkins! The Tom Hanks episode this season was strong and he put the David Pumpkins sketch over the top to become a pop culture icon in no time!
Scream Queens Season 2 premiered and by the end of the first episode it blew the first season out of the water, and I LOVED the first season.
“If you like seeing Alice Cooper and getting stuck in the rain” – I changed the lyrics, but you know that song, don’t you? I’ve seen Alice Cooper live before, and nothing beats seeing him in the fall. Alice played First Energy Park in Lakewood, NJ on September 30th and it was cold, windy, and raining all night. Of course, the show went on! It was still a blast to see him regardless of the weather.
The FOX production of Rocky Horror premiered and it wasn’t awful. Obviously, if Victoria Justice wasn’t in it, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in seeing it, but it wasn’t terrible. It’s impossible to reach the pinnacle of the original, but this was halfway decent. To me, more Rocky Horror is always a good thing.
After pining for a new Blair Witch movie for 15 years, it finally happened. In disguise as “The Woods,” it finally revealed itself as a Blair Witch reboot, despite them saying it was a sequel to the original. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it was still cool that it exists. At times it felt robotic as if it didn’t have much of a soul. I’ve come to find out that I’m in the minority here, but I felt 2015’s “The Witch” was more in line with my expectations and preference when it comes to a new Blair Witch movie. I wanted something that would’ve added to the mythology. Plus, this one ignores the events of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and for that, it loses points in my cool book.
As a Rob Zombie loyalist, I was at the premiere of 31 front and center. Unfortunately, much like the Blair Witch situation, it wasn’t what I had hoped for either. Often, when a great deal of people are unimpressed with a film and I wind up liking it, I wonder “what the hell were they expecting?” In this case, I was totally expecting something more Halloweeny. I don’t mean it needed to star Michael Myers or little Sam from Trick or Treat, but I was hoping the story would be more tied into the holiday itself. More pumpkins and ghosts, etc you catch my drift. Maybe his next movie will fulfill that quota?
AMC’s Comic Book Men had a Halloween Special starring Elvira. This episode was filmed during a blood drive in Red Bank, NJ. I went to give blood and the folks at The Secret Stash asked if I wanted to meet Elvira. Although I met her before, who am I to say no to an opportunity like that? I’m an Elvira freak! I went over and met Elvira and out of all the people at The Secret Stash that day, the moment where I go to say hello to Elvira made it into the show! What better way to cap off this Halloween Season than to say that I was on one of the coolest TV shows meeting Elvira…in NEW JERSEY!
This year there were a few costume ideas bouncing around in my head, but only one that I really wanted to be. My favorite GI Joe character is Zartan, always has been. But I didn’t want to do any old Zartan costume, I wanted to do 1993’s NINJA FORCE ZARTAN!
Most people think this is way obscure, but if you’re a fan of GI Joe and 80’s and 90’s action figures in general, you probably know about this variation of the character. The Ninja Force subset of GI Joe was much more vibrant in color and had more of an edgy look to them.
We go out every year and this year it was back to Asbury Park and we had a blast. Miss Sexy Armpit dressed as Jillian Holtzmann from Ghostbusters 2016 and she was spot-on!
After reminiscing on all of this, it’s obvious that Halloween 2016 was pretty badass in the realm of The Sexy Armpit. I hope you’ve had a kickass Halloween Season and I’m looking forward to next year already! Happy Halloween Everyone!
I’m sitting at my desk with the window cracked open. I’m literally being blasted with cool fall wind and it feels awesome. There’s apparently a hurricane developing, so that’s added to the ambience of the last few days. I also cleaned my disaster of a desk to get me prepped for the season. A pumpkin candle is blazing and I just ate a bag of Japanese Frito-Lay Halloween Pack bat-shaped thingies and I’m now primed to provide you with an official Sexy Armpit Halloween Special update: You can join us if you tune in at 8pm ET on October 7th, 2016!
Tell us about The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special this year.
As many of you know, each year I produce a Halloween special for our YouTube page. This year, I’m proud to tell you that this will be our 5th installment. I pour pretty much every bit of life I have into these annual videos. During production, everything and everyone in my life gets pretty much ignored from start to finish usually. My bills stack up. I neglect the gym. All I think about is the special. Ultimately, my main inspiration, aside from the desire to make it the best special it can be, is Halloween.
Halloween is everything. There are memes that always say Halloween is year round, and obviously Ministry sang about it being everyday, but realistically, the season happens once a year. It’s fleeting. Capturing the essence is vital to appreciating it in the moment. Once it’s November, it seems like the non-Hallo-freaks have moved on. If you breezed through the season, without truly memorializing it, all you can do at that point is be bummed and pissed at yourself for not soaking up as much horror and pumpkin guts as you could. Of course, I watch Horror all year long, and am obsessed with Halloween throughout the year, but that’s what makes this time of year special. All the stuff I love is magnified x1000. That’s why I tried my damnedest to get the special done fairly early this year.
Would it be possible for me to actually enjoy the season without killing myself making a short film AND trying to put together Halloween costume? I figured if I got a little bit of a jump on things, I wouldn’t have to be feverishly editing until the witching hour. While I’m still putting the finishing touches on it currently, it’s nearly ready for public consumption. The head start actually granted me some extra time to put a teaser trailer together too, something I didn’t have the time to do previously for any of my videos. You can watch the teaser above if you haven’t already!
This year, the Halloween Special is quite different than anything you’ve seen from us before.
As I rewind several months, I recall a hot June afternoon in downtown New York City. I had set up a meeting with Louie Cortes, a New York filmmaker (his company is New Needle Productions), and a fellow Halloween and horror freak. Louie and I had been following each other on social media for a long time and not only did we have a lot of friends in common, but we’ve traveled in the same circles, attended the same conventions, and plain and simple, share a ton of the same obsessions.
There was a two-fold reason for me reaching out to Louie. First, I just couldn’t keep looking at his Instagram and watching his short films on his YouTube without finally shooting the shit with him over a beer. Secondly, I wanted to pick his brain about his filmmaking process. In my constant pursuit of trying to improve my output, I figured I could probe Louie’s brain to see if he could shed some light on a few questions I had regarding how the pros do things.
Aside from some advice, and a few laughs, I honestly didn’t expect much to come of our meeting. When it comes to my own creative endeavors, I like to do things my way. That’s pretty common amongst creative people from what I’ve seen, but I’d never really thought of the possibility of collaborating before. Sure, I have friends who help with the show in many ways, but ultimately, it’s always my baby. I like to see it through. I’d never entertained the idea of a collaboration because I hadn’t spoken to anyone who wound up being serious or followed through on their claims. I’ve been asked many times by people if they could appear in or help out with the show, but often, they wind up flaking out when they find out how much work is involved. Fortunately, a legit collaboration was actually on the horizon.
Louie and I met at this punk bar downtown and had a few drinks. It was one of those meetings that, if we ever did hit it big and became famous one day in some kind of insane fantasy world, this is the type of story that we’d be able to share when being interviewed. It’s like those legendary stories you hear about how Madonna gave her demo tape to a DJ at a club in NYC. It was just a simple meeting that has already kicked into high gear. When we met up that day I seriously had no clue that by the end of the summer we’d be much closer friends and have basically all the footage for my Halloween special filmed. Needless to say, I’m glad we met up! Louie is on point with his work and also an exceptional dude. We’ve already discussed more possible projects on the horizon, but for now, I’ll concentrate on the present.
So, what exactly makes this year’s Halloween Special so different than previous years?
First and foremost, Louie’s production company New Needle Productions handled the filming of the majority of the special. The shot composition, lighting, and high quality of the video stemmed from Louie’s expertise and all added a completely fresh take on what The Sexy Armpit Show really is all about. It looks so damn good! Louie did a kick ass job and he’s a total pro. A huge thanks goes out to him.
The vastly improved visual aspect helps bring the horror/thriller storyline to life. Of course, it’s still complete nonsense and an all out horror-comedy, but there’s a pretty intriguing story in there…one that hasn’t yet been explored in our videos. In fact, not to spoil anything, but in this one you’ll witness a major shakeup at Sexy Armpit HQ that could have repercussions on the future of the show!
What I’m most proud of is the fact that we keep improving each year. To me, there’s no point in doing the same thing every year because that’s boring. This time around, the special is pretty batshit and just the right kind of whacked out that you need to enhance your Halloween season. You’ll see some awesome cameos and familiar faces as you’ve seen in previous installments, but, trust me, this is a whole different ball game. With all that said, I don’t want to give up any spoilers, so you can watch for yourself on 10/7!
As always, I want to send out another giant thank you to the cast Miss Sexy Armpit @MissSexyArmpit, Mike Wirth a.k.a @IdiotAtPlay, Holly Knapp @Frankenholly, Jeff Somogyi @Sommerjam, Dari Mehl, Frank Campisi, and Lauren Wirth @TheNerdyPumpkin. Everyone did a bang up job again this year and each cast member brings so much to the table. By understanding my bizarre mind, they make it easy for me to bring the stories to life. It might sound like I’m making these specials sound more monumental than they actually are, but that’s how important they are to me.
Make The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials a part of your Halloween Viewing!
Even though I make these videos, I still have fun watching them too. They become these warped video yearbooks to look back on. Each year, I usually suggest trying to incorporate a viewing of any or all of The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials into your seasonal viewing. For example, if you plan on watching Poltergeist or Halloween, use our Hallowen special as a funny lead-in. Maybe throw in a Halloween cartoon as well! I know you all can pull YouTube up on your TVs and the best way to enjoy these videos is on your big TV with all your Halloween lights and decorations in full effect. Get some candy corn and pumpkin beer and really feel the season. If you do this, take a pic and post it somewhere on social media, that will help us get the word out! If you want to thank us or support us in any way, the best way is to get more eyes on it and for that we thank you!
I’m proud of what my crew and New Needle accomplished together. These Hallowen Specials are truly comprised of passion and hard work. The only compensation we receive from these videos is you, our friends, fans, readers, viewers and social media companions, getting a kick out of watching them. Sure, it would be nice to be funded one day, but there’s nothing that satisfies me more knowing that a good portion of you were able to sit back and have some laughs for a brief spell during your Halloween celebrations. That is what makes me want to continue, otherwise, I’d be laying around like a lump watching mediocre horror movies on Amazon Prime.
As I was saying at the start, it’s October. It’s officially here! It’s time to start working on your costume, decorating, and planning your Halloween viewing for the month and hopefully The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special can be a part of it!
Teela, Toys, and Trapjaw. Those are three of my favorite T’s, but for those who know me, talking is probably my fourth. What if all those concepts were combined? This week, it actually happens on The Purple Stuff Podcast, as Matt and I present our aural appreciation for one of the greatest action figure toy lines and cartoons of our childhood: Masters of the Universe.
Who wouldn’t want to listen to two grown men wax poetic about He-Man for 63 minutes? If that doesn’t seduce all the hot ladies out there I don’t know what will. We discuss everything from Slime Pits to Silver Screen Skeletor. From a behind the scenes standpoint, I’d been throwing out the idea for a Masters of the Unvierse themed show for a while and Matt was 100% on board with it, but we knew we didn’t want to half-ass it. We had to give it the proper time and attention. That time is NOW.
The stage has truly been set for HE-MANIA. I submit that even though the Masters of the Universe is a property so intertwined into ’80s culture, I feel like the forthcoming big screen adaptation will be huge. If they do it in the style of Game of Thrones, we could be on the verge of the second coming of MOTU! A guy can dream, can’t he? With director McG attached to the film AND the new Filmation style Club Grayskull figures in the midst of being released by Matty Collector, there’s no better time than now to celebrate our love of all things He-Man (and I never miss a chance to talk about She-Ra as well.) So, put your Power Sword into your sheath, hop onto your Sky-Sled, and join Matt and I for a mammoth MOTU podcast the size of Granamyr himself!
It was quite a long drive for a Class 5, but it’s cool, road trips are my thing. Unfortunately, the passengers in my car on a recent lengthy adventure didn’t include that goofy bastard, DJ Qualls and Seann William Scott, it was even better. Once again I managed to coerce one Dinosaur Dracula into co-piloting a long drive down the stormy New Jersey highways with me. It was difficult to justify a hundred mile trip, but I made a convincing argument, or so I thought: “I want to get this Slimer toy I saw.” Pretty persuasive, right? I’m underselling for comedic purposes, there was actually a lot more intrigue involved. In fact, even Phillip Spade wouldn’t have been able to figure this one out.
After the flea market, we shot down the Turnpike. A quick stop at WaWa and we were off, discussing some of Matt’s latest flea market acquisitions during the ride. The rain scared away many of the vendors, but a few of them toughed it out specifically for us to pick up some old crap. From there, I was on a mission. I needed to catch a ghost. Continue reading The Endless Slimer Saga
Some of our Internet cohorts and I banded together for a hostile takeover of the Nerd Lunch Podcast. Villainous guest host Shawn Robare from Branded in the ’80s, Jaime from ShezCrafti, Rondal Scott from Strange Kids Club and myself infiltrated the Nerd Lunch HQ and started recording our own show in place of CT, Pax, and Jeeg. Just like the super-villains we are, we pondered some of our most favorite cartoon villains, those villains who influenced our career as evildoers. I had fun doing this one, mostly because I had a chance to talk about two of my favorite topics: villains and cartoons. Just a note about my monologue in the beginning of the show: that was a joint effort between Shawn and I. Shawn wrote the thing and then I added a few things, changed some wording, and made it my own, but credit should be given to Shawn for that as well! Do you think the real Nerd Lunch crew will be able to get their show back? Take a listen to find out and let us know your favorite cartoon villains!
Artist and New Jersey lover Scott Modrzynski of Mojo’s Work, has quite and interesting life story. You can check it out for yourself, but he’s got a ton of love and respect for New Jersey AND The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, two forces combined and strikingly illustrated in his TMNT/New Jersey art featured here. What a killer combo from Scott! He’s got so much more at his site with his NJ Badass series which are mash-ups of our state AND characters like Deadpool, Scooby Doo, Mario & Luigi, Superman, and Spiderman just to name a few! Now, onto my thoughts on the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, in theaters now. Don’t call this a comeback. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been here for years and haven’t really ever gone away. Nickelodeon grabbing full rights to the property a few years ago has been a dream for fans. Since the latest cartoon series premiered, and now the new feature film is hitting theaters, we’re in the midst of Turtle fever all over again with new toys, special edition sodas and perhaps the most logical, pizza tie-ins.
Michael Bay has modified a few details of the Turtles here and there, most notably, the look of our beloved pizza devourin’, Foot Clan fightin’ Turtles. What scares me is that regardless of what true die-hard Turtles fans feel about this film, if it does big business at the box office, which, from a curiosity standpoint it’s basically guaranteed to, Bay’s alterations will probably stick around for the long run.
Very early on, well before critics actually saw this film, I was put off by promotional photos and rumors. Now that people are finally seeing it and tweeting such flat, lackluster feedback about the movie, I’m even less compelled to go to the theater to see it. I can wait for this one to hit Redbox. Meanwhile, I’ll watch my DVDs of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film from 1990 which remains one of the best movies of the superhero genre as well as The Secret of the Ooze which is still badass too!
I remember seeing the 1990 original in the theater as well as the sequel, and I enjoyed both films immensely. The only minor issue I had with the original was the casting of April O’Neil. From a performance standpoint I had no complaints about Judith Hoag, but I couldn’t help feeling that there was a more appropriate actress for the role.
At the time, the ’80s were still lingering around and a logical choice for April would’ve been an actress who starred in one of the quintessential kids movies from the ’80s. I always felt that Jersey’s own, Kerri Green, who played Andi in The Goonies, would’ve been an awesome April O’Neil. If anything, she would’ve embodied the cartoon April perfectly. Think about it. This leads me to the hotly debated issue of Megan Fox. Stunt casting at its best.
Having Angelina Jolie shoved down our throats for so many years was always a similar topic of discussion for me. I was never so crazy-obsessed with Jolie from a physical standpoint nor was I ever seduced by any of her films. Conversely, Megan Fox is super hot and it’s a near fact that her acting ability is not on par with other actresses of her age range, but admiring her (not her wacky thumbs) might be the lone reason for me eventually giving Ninja Turtles a watch.
Admittedly, I was even a fan of TVs The Next Mutation when it first aired, mainly because it was cool to see a live action offshoot of the TMNT movies, no matter how Power Rangers-esque it was. Judging by what I’ve seen and heard about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, I might just be better off watching my bootlegs of The Next Mutation this weekend!
Pammy, Rick, and Tyg from The Shirt Tales riding the Log Flume on this Six Flags t-shirt
Remember The Shirt Tales? A lot of the ’70s and ’80s kids and nostalgia freaks out there definitely do. If you don’t remember them, they were a group of animals who were cute to an absurd degree and their thoughts would materialize in illuminated words right on their t-shirts. Although the Shirt Tales were only around for a couple of TV seasons (1982-1984), they had a slightly longer life on the front of Hallmark greeting cards and various other tie-ins, one of which we’ll look at in this post.
In their own Hanna-Barbera cartoon show, the gang fought crime and they even had their own little Batcave-type headquarters. I tried to jog my own memory by watching an episode on YouTube called The Big Foot Incident. Memories started rushing back, but I didn’t remember much about the cool set of villains who resembled bumbling versions of the Universal Monsters. The ring leader (Mesmo? Not very original) could’ve been a horror host and his lair was basically a haunted mansion that was constantly being showered with frequent lighting bolts (awesome). This all seemed very uncharacteristic for a bunch of furry and lovable little creatures who were created to sell Hallmark cards.
If you were to associate cartoon characters with Six Flags Great Adventure here in New Jersey, Looney Tunes would immediately come to mind, but there’s proof right here that there was a brief time when The Shirt Tales reigned at Six Flags! According to the Great Adventure History site, in 1984, the kiddie kingdom area was renamed Shirt Tales Land and the characters would come out and greet kids. This only last for one season until getting taken over by the Looney Tunes.
The above photo is from the exact period of time when the Shirt Tales were popular in the early ’80s. Back then, they incorporated all their locations onto one t-shirt so they didn’t have to print up separate shirts for each location, so that explains why Great Adventure is listed at the bottom. Fortunately though, it stands out the most since it’s highlighted in yellow.
This is ’80s nostalgia at its best. Why do I say that? Well, I actually scanned this photo in myself and it’s of my best friend who I’ve known since I was in pre-school. I had the photo because not too long ago, I made a slideshow for his birthday of old photos that his mom was nice enough to gather up for me. These included some real classics and I scanned them all in. I kept this one on the hard drive because I knew that somewhere down the line I would want to bring it up here at The Sexy Armpit. It was a double whammy!
In the past several years I felt that the characters that get licensed out for use in marketing and merch for Six Flags G.A should be capitalized on more. I hate seeing the DC Universe and the Looney Tunes not being exploited to their fullest, but it probably has a lot to do with the fact that the park is no longer owned and operated by Warner Brothers, which it was at one time.
For all the negative feedback it sustains, I still feel that Ghostbusters 2 is an entertaining sequel. That certainly seems to be an unpopular opinion though. If you can’t get down with the fact that the the boys in gray came inside the Statue of Liberty and sprayed their ectoplasm all over her insides, thereby getting her suitably riled up, enough for her to walk through the Hudson River to help defeat one seriously ugly Carpathian, who coincidentally materialized out of a rare painting, then you’ve got no sense of humor. It’s obvious that I’m a big fan of the sequel, but what I found surprising is that I’ve never read its comic adaptation.
Paramus, NJ mentioned on Peter Venkman’s World of the Psychic
When clicking around GhostbustersFans.com, I realized they had the 3-part adaptation of Ghostbusters 2 from NOW Comics scanned in and available to read. Nowadays, NOW Comics is no more, but, as a kid, I was very familiar with the publisher because I collected The Green Hornet, Ghostbusters, and The Terminator. Their Ghostbusters line was based off the animated Real Ghostbusters since that was the version they had the license for. NOW did an excellent job capturing the essence of the cartoon. I remember owning several issues of it, but I never realized this 3-part adaptation even existed.
Adapting Ghostbusters 2 into a Real Ghostbusters comic is an odd, yet awesome idea. There were always callbacks to the first Ghostbusters film throughout the cartoon series, and when those episodes aired I thought it was the coolest thing. One thing is for sure, if you were around when the RGB was first on TV, you know it was a bit strange and confusing to see various character changes and other minor differences from the live action movie. Minor alterations like hair color were by no means bad choices, but, even then we knew something was up. Back then, no one explained to us kids why Egon or Janine looked different from the live action movie and the whole team wore their own color jumpsuits. As I think about it, it was probably to differentiate their action figures.
After reading the 3-parter, I realized there were a few scenes that were not included in the movie. Since it was based on the movie script, many bits of dialogue don’t coincide with what is heard in the movie. I attribute a lot of that to Bill Murray ad-libbing, and I’m grateful for it. For instance, they didn’t want to print the word SHIT when Peter Venkman is on the stand in the court room scene, so the line in the comic winds up to be “…IT happens and somebody has to deal with it.” In other panels, we also get to see how the Ghostbusters crew got let out of the mental institution as well as when Ray, momentarily possessed by Vigo, drives recklessly in the Ecto 1-A, nearly killing his fellow Ghostbusters.
The style of the characters is exactly how you remember them from the cartoon. This was thanks to Van Hise and Tobias, the same creative team who worked on Real Ghostbusters. Another aspect of this adaptation that makes it unique is the fact that Dana Barrett never appeared in the Real Ghostbusters cartoon so it’s pretty amazing to be able to see how she would look in that universe, directly from the team that worked on the show no less! I always found Barrett’s character to be a bit stuffy, and it’s not that her dialogue changed that much, but here she was drawn a bit more lively and interesting.
I remember NOW’s covers and pages were above average in comparison to some of the other books of the time and that actually brought another dimension to the characters. The colors were vibrant and I especially dug how the creepy Scoleri Brothers were inked and how deranged the kids at the birthday party that Ray and Winston appeared at were drawn.
Conflict arose when my inner voice actors began competing for my favor. Was I supposed to be using Bill Murray or Lorenzo Music/Dave Coulier? Should I have been using Dan Akroyd or Frank Welker for Ray Stantz? Ramis or Lamarche? Decisions decisions. I tried to stick with the Real Ghostbusters voices so I could make the experience as authentic as possible. That was the right move, although it’s hard not to hear Bill Murray explain the many subtle levels of dirty laundry.
For a pretty large chunk of the late ’80s, ALF merch was a goldmine. With four seasons of the prime time show and two animated spinoffs, an array of ALF stuff was abundant during that time. Whether you were strolling through Toys ‘R Us or a Hallmark store you’d see ALF everywhere. On the shelves were wise cracking plush toys, (I still have mine!) posters, pajamas, and video games. ALF’s likeness was licensed to everything.
ALF even had a couple of sets of his own trading cards. Aside from his “Bouillabase Ball” trading card series, in 1987, our little sarcastic pal also appeared in a 50 card set called U.S of ALF.
You’ve probably heard that ancient proverb “He who lets an alien life form give them a tour of the United States, winds up chasing feral cats.” I’ve never been able to get ALF’s actual opinion of the Jersey Shore, but he did make a stop here when he toured the country. Pictured above is the card commemorating the time when ALF visited Atlantic City, New Jersey.