AD JERSEUM 19: That Gekko Grabs Some Free Advertising with his Foam Finger!

So Much New Jersey Advertising, It’ll Make You Vomit!
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“So, what brings ya to Jersey?” a driver of a car on the New Jersey Turnpike asks his passenger in the back seat. Sitting contently is none other than the Geico gekko, who goes on to brag about how his company Geico is the number one car insurance company in the Tri-state area.

He then pulls out an extremely tiny foam finger to bestow his appreciation on this New Jerseyan for helping to gain this milestone. The driver accepts it and is left dumbfounded. All he can say is “That’s great.” Although this commercial wasn’t the funniest of Geico ads, the gekko always amuses me. I find it surprising at how many people tell me that can’t stand this little limey bugger! He’s a good dude, cut him some slack.

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I hate giving free advertising to giant companies like this, but it’s impossible for me not to throw some attention at this crisp eating mascot since he winds up in New Jersey quite frequently. In fact, the Geico Gekko was previously the subject of the first ever installment of our Ad Jerseum column way back in 2010! You can read about the Gekko at the Loews Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, NJ right here!

*Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for letting me know about this one!

The Columbus Chronicle: Part One

I fear that if I described a place as “a time warp,” it wouldn’t be as impactful as it once was. I find myself using the comparison fairly often due to various trips to old dingy antique stores or crappy flea markets that all look like they stopped operating legally in the mid ’80s. These are usually my favorite spots. To me and friends like Dinosaur Dracula it’s become commonplace to find ourselves at a hotel, store, carnival, or Christmas display that has been preserved somewhere in time. Same as it ever was…

There’s opposing ideas at work here. It’s quite astonishing that there’s such a newness to old places we’ve never set foot in that simultaneously feel so familiar, as if we have been there a hundred times.

For us, the thrill has not disappeared.

Often though, the thrill in question doesn’t inject my spirit with enough juice to immediately compel me to memorialize it on my blog, at least until the right time.

Whenever I feel like I’m building up some really decent motivation with a steady pace of blog updates, I get knocked off the ladder. Whether it’s a job situation, an issue with my condo, or just plain physical fatigue, publishing a blog post that summarizes in detail how there’s one line of dialogue in an obscure movie where they mentioned a random town in New Jersey is not even in the top 10 on my to-do list. I certainly wish it could be, but you know how it is sometimes. These occasions seem to pop up more and more as time goes on. In fact, one of them happened last summer.

We visited a really cool place and here I am writing about it 6 months later.

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The aftermath of one of our Monster Mania con trips is the stuff of shame. You may have thought I was gonna go with “the stuff of legend,” but, embarrassment, blurry memories, foul language, obnoxious behavior, late night wandering, later night second wind drinking, surreal elevator rides, absurd verbal exchanges with complete strangers, are much more accurate. All of it builds to an extra long car ride home that seriously makes me contemplate what I’m doing with my life. But, fortunately, we had Tequila.

After a night of nostalgia, chaos, and noise, we (Freddy in Space, Dinosaur Dracula, the ladies, and myself) got very little sleep. At some point in the night, at least a couple of us were involuntarily cemented into the same position we’d been in moments before falling into our little mini comas, some of us with our faces set in that weird about to say something look. It was a sight to behold. It’s like that scene when all the citizens of Oz turned to stone in Return to Oz. It was bleak and somewhat horrifying.

The next morning, we were dragging ass. For some reason, the TV is ALWAYS on and blasting when we wake up, tuned to some poorly produced infomercial for a local car dealership. Once the self loathing surges to record levels, we realized that the sun was out, it was actually a nice day, albeit a few degrees too warm, and blindingly sunny, and that we had to get the fuck out of there as soon as possible.

For the ride home, it was all about the energy drinks and the most random mix of music on my iPod to power us through the drive up the New Jersey Turnpike. “If you wanna go and take a ride wit’ me we three wheelin’ in the fo’ with the green and Dino Drac and Ms. X in the back.”

With the surge of motivation derived from the Red Bulls and 5 Hours that were miraculously keeping our hearts pumping after our Monster con bender, we couldn’t just head home because that would be us tapping out, and defeat was not an option.

It would be an automatic fail if we arrived at home without taking some kind of detour on the way back first. If anything, it breaks up the monotonous drive. And I’m not talking about just rolling into Cracker Barrel with fanny packs engaged, wearing our Zubaz pants either, I said, “Let’s go to one of the most famous flea markets in the entire tri-state area.” I said it exactly like that too, as if I was in a local TV commercial for the place with the owners niece holding a balloon as his Guido cousin touted the 3000+ vendors and the 56 dining options including pretzels and meat sandwiches. “So come down to the Columbus Flea Market, Route 206 in Columbus New Jersey!” That ad probably ran right just before the car dealership infomercial on TV that prompted me to rise like The Undertaker from my temporary departure from consciousness earlier that morning.

In hopes of finding some dumb old toys, we all unanimously opted in for the flea market. After all, nothing cures a hangover quite like dusty old records, military supplies, and crates full of paint-chipped action figures.

Known as one of the oldest and biggest flea markets in the area, The Columbus Flea Market made us feel like we literally entered a time warp. Interest gauge: Piqued. Mood meter: pinned in the red. Who needs to be whisked away to beautiful Waikiki when you can can be abruptly hauled back to a flea market circa 1990? That rhyme scheme was completely unintentional, but pretty slick.

Unfortunately, it’s right at this point where you’re realizing that all this fluff was just a lead-in to Part Two where we’ll delve into one of the “special” shops we stumbled upon during our exploration of the Columbus Flea Market! Come back to read about it tomorrow!

10 Things I Love About Jersey Shore Shark Attack

Shark Week is coming. Matter of fact, a friggin’ Sharknado is scheduled to touch down tonight, on SyFy Channel. Luckily, this time it’s New York City that will be infiltrated by sharks, but rewind only a couple of summers and it was the Jersey Shore that was overrun by sharks in glorious Sy-Fy style. It was blood spattered, B-Movie bliss!

Preppy rich folk are trying to build a beach club spa and undersea drilling from the project winds up attracting a very rare species of CGI albino bull sharks, the natural non-tanned well known enemy of the shore faring orange gorilla guido. A Jersey Shore Shark Attack of epic proportions ensues.

While MTV’s Jersey Shore is a distant memory to many of us, clearly its impact still lingers. Jersey Shore was in its final season when Jersey Shore Shark Attack aired on SyFy Channel in the summer of 2012. Similar in spirit to 2010’s Piranha 3-D, another film with Jersey connections, JSSA garnered a better than expected 3 out of 10 stars on IMDB and 25% liked it on Rotten Tomatoes.

The title is a bit misleading because the movie has nothing to do with the actual shark attacks that happened along the Jersey Shore in 1916. If it bums you out and you were geared up for some historical progressive era carnage, you are S.O.L. there, but you’re in luck here because I’ve compiled 10 things I love about this movie. Here we go!

10. No actors from New Jersey appear in this production. This is not surprising. The closest we get is Staten Island’s Jeremy Luke who plays “The Complication” and sort of looks like a white Tracy Morgan. Staten Island is so close to New Jersey that it’s apparent why he was also cast in other Jersey related films like Don Jon and Jersey Boys. This guy is likable on screen and he’s definitely going to become a familiar face. You’ll enjoy his performance more than watching the real Situation.

9. Guy fishing in a canoe smoking a cigar catches a…New Jersey Turnpike sign. This sign is so iconic to me that it’s been part of my site logo for nearly 10 years. That wasn’t the only surprise this guy got, he caught the severed head of a guidette! Pulling body parts out of the water in Jersey is a weekly occurrence here, they aren’t embellishing.

8. Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico) plays boardwalk Tiki bar proprietor, Captain Sallie. Although he was born in Brooklyn, Sirico will always be associated with New Jersey thanks to The Sopranos.

7. WET T-SHIRT CONTEST. With Super Soakers.

6. The Warriors reference. “Preppies come out and pla–ay!” The Preppies think the Guidos are trash but they both have to grudgingly team up in this film. Ugh, how excruciating.

5. Jack Scalia rules. He’s like a Shakespearean actor. Who needs Anthony Hopkins when we have friggin’ J.Scal? My mom had one of those hunky pictures of him on our fridge in the ’80s so there’s that. Oh, and there was also one on the inside of our coffee mug cabinet.

4. Luring sharks with Protein bars, they might be onto something.

BJ: 
“You really think you’re gonna attract sharks with protein bars?” 
DONNIE: 
“Nothing’s gonna resist 25 grams of power packed peanut butter crunch!”
(he delivers this line like a pro-wrestler cutting a promo!)

3. Italian Stereotypes to the MAX er, um the MASSIMO! Bocce Ball! Grappa! Sopressata! Surprisingly, I don’t think there was one mention of a cannoli.

“Ya got 10 miles of beautiful white sandy beaches, blue sky, and what do you have to show for it? Wet T-shirt contests and funnel cake…”

2. ATHERTON! The brilliant William Atherton will help you’ll get a feel for the other side of the Jersey shore, the one that that you don’t often see depicted on TV – the yuppie rich folks who own yachts and mansions right on the beach. They wear boat shoes. You know them. Guidos don’t seem so annoying in comparison right? Atherton is the big pretentious a-hole from that crew, similar to Jerry Hathaway from Real Genius. This time, instead of turning off the protection grid like Walter Peck in Ghostbusters, he’s activating undersea drills that attract killer sharks in order to build his beach club.

1. Thank you Captain Obvious! This movie over-explains everything and I love every utterance. After a shark launched into the air and swallowed N’Sync’s “legendary” Joey Fatone whole, the actual Vinny from Jersey Shore yells “Joey Fatone just got eaten by a shark!” Or, how about the classic “Help me my foot is stuck,” when Nooki’s (knockoff Snooki) foot was stuck. Riveting! In the end, there’s even a celebratory fist pumping “Guido” chant to remind viewers that these guys are supposed to be guidos.

Hopped Up on Halloween: A Fright Fest Memory

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When reflecting on the Halloween season, the act of simply stepping outside and taking in a breath of fresh air could bring a flood of fall memories to rushing back into your mind.

One memory that came to my mind was the time I headed down to Great Adventure during Fright Fest when I first got my license. I was actually still on my learner’s permit (shhh, don’t tell anyone). It was probably the first trip I ever took there on my own, so I felt pretty badass. Well, I wasn’t really on my own. I took my girlfriend at the time, Beth. At least, she was the equivalent of what teenagers considered a girlfriend at the time. We went to the mall and kissed in public. We thought we were cool. Taking her to Fright Fest though – that was the shit. If you asked me at the time, going there was my ultimate date night. Let’s pretend you’re Chuck Woolery and I’m the contestant on Love Connection. Here’s how the date went.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike I had the windows cracked and I remember there being a nice October chill in the air. Just cool enough for a light jacket, but still mild enough not to freeze our asses off. It was the mid ’90s, (I know, I’m old – fuck off) and the only entertainment in my car back then was the radio and a cassette player. Naturally, some people had CD players, but they were lucky bastards. Dopey teenagers hopped up on young love and Mountain Dew didn’t have the means for a CD player in the car, unless they were savvy enough to hook up a DiscMan to their car stereo, an enhancement that was still another year down the road for me. The stations get a little fuzzy as we get further south, so the only thing we had to listen to aside from the drone of the LeBaron and the awkward moments of silence on the 40 minute drive down was the cassette player.

If Beth had it her way she wanted to listen to Hot 97 the whole way down. To appease her and show her that I’m open to all kinds of music, including blazing hip-hop and R&B, we listened to it until Exit 9 and then I was called upon by the Gods of Rock themselves. There was no choice in the matter. It was time for the Holy Grail of mixtapes. THE ULTIMATE KISS MIXTAPE. Sure, back then it was fun to listen to The Misfits, Alice Cooper and White Zombie during October, but there was always something just as fitting about listening to KISS during Halloween time too.

At the time, Beth had absolutely zero clue who KISS was. What was even funnier was that she had less of a clue that the title of one of their biggest songs bared her name. She didn’t care either. She really, really, really didn’t care. Every girl I seemed to like had no interest in the music that I listened to, which made my heart sink to the depth of the murky Arthur Kill. As I shoved the tape into the deck, I vividly remember the tape started playing in the middle of “Got To Choose” from Hotter Than Hell. I can hear that grungy riff and that funky bassline in my mind right now. In fact I’m going to pull it up on my iTunes right now. It’s amazing, this whole technology thing, isn’t it? Ha. You should put it on too (if you have it), to get the full effect of this story!

To a non-KISS fan not only was “Got To Choose” one of the least interesting tracks on my mix tape, but to make matters worse, side one of the cassette always cut off about three quarters into it. Just as soon as my mind is rocking out and vibing to the tune, it clicked off and the awkward silence returned. I knew she wanted Hot 97 on, but I didn’t care. I was being selfish, I felt like it was my turn to really enjoy this drive. It was a cool October night, my favorite time of the year, and we were racing down to Six Flags for one of the most fun things to do in Jersey during Halloween. I was feeling pretty awesome needless to say. I turned the cassette over and popped it back in. “Beth I hear you callin’…”

BLANK. _______. Beth was completely blank when I told her about the KISS song that was playing called, “Beth.” In the back of my mind I thought “Didn’t your father or your uncle tell you about this?” I was shocked that another person wasn’t as obsessed with KISS as I was. I had a hard time remembering that this was the mid-90s, not 1977 mind you.

As we got closer and closer to Exit 7, our conversation began to pick up and I lowered the volume to a reasonable level (except when “Parasite” came on, of course).

On a normal basis she pretty much laughed at everything I said, which gave me a little boost, but truthfully, she just laughed at everything that was remotely amusing in general. I could act like an obnoxious ass and she would just eat it up. I appreciated it because she genuinely found me funny. From there, we started trading anecdotes about our favorite rides in the park. Although both of us had been going down to Great Adventure since we were kids, we both felt the level of excitement building up. We were getting a rush before we even went on any rides.

Our time was running out. By the time we arrived, found parking, walked a mile to the ticket booth, and then bought tickets, we had about 2 hours in the park if we were lucky. And as I said, I didn’t have a CD player in my car so I wasn’t necessarily the luckiest guy in the world. This lack of time definitely weighed on my mind because when it comes to theme parks and vacations I’m like Clark Griswold, always trying to maximize the fun.

Our spirits were so uplifted, among other things, that our dumbasses wasted even more time before actually heading into the park. After the long trek from the car to the entrance, we stopped at one of the planters and parked half of our butts for a minute to take in the night…and of course make out. So dumb, so simple, soo had nothing to do with romance. This was about HALLOWEEN. I wanted the bejesus scared out of me and my endorphins were runnin’ wild. Like I said, high spirits, otherwise HOT 97 and KISS MIXTAPE wouldn’t have been lip locked to each other the whole night as if we were the only two people left on the planet.

What was the attraction with Beth? I wondered to myself as I stood staring a hole through a nearby tree shedding frail pale orange leaves. She was a natural blonde, she had a cute smile with dimples, and had big boobs. At the time, coincidentally, as stereotypical as it sounds, that was all I wanted out of life. What can I say? I was a product of the times. Baywatch was a highly rated show, OK? So, back at Six Flags, Beth and I managed to detach our mouths from each others and we walked briskly inside with a little bounce in our step.

It was dark, breezy, the trees were bare, and Fright Fest was in full effect. Zombies and ghastly characters roamed about trying to scare us. Beth genuinely got scared a few times and grabbed a hold of me, then we just got overly hysterical about it as if we just heard the funniest joke of all time delivered by the most smart mouthed comedian of all time. Despite what many people might think of the lines, the atmosphere takes center stage and it’s easy to forget the rest.

The macabre elements such as the fog, the bloody fountain, and the costumed actors jumping out at you when you least expect it, help to far outweigh any of the typical theme park complaints. Being there is the fun. In fact, Fright Fest is such a part of my Halloween celebration every year that it actually makes me get that nostalgic fuzzy feeling. I didn’t get paid for that so let me get back to my story.

Beth and I went on every ride we possibly could, stopping at any chance we could to hug, hold hands, or take part in some other cheesy public display of affection. It was the spirit of the season that was getting us all charged up. And yes, we even went on the freakin’ ferris wheel. Remember when Mikey from The Goonies said ‘It’s our time down here!” well October is our time and I’ve always felt that way. Just hearing the Misfits lyric “Bonfires Burning Bright, Pumpkin Faces in the Night, I remember Halloween,” DUH, of course I remember! I remember Halloween and all the memories come rushing back every time I walk outside and breath in the fall air or gaze into the colorful fall foliage.

Halloween moments are the most memorable ones in my life. I can’t help but think that each of those moments wouldn’t still resonate today if they took place during any other time of the year. Intertwined in the calm and colorful fall backdrop are so many memories waiting to be conjured up. Be inspired. Go outside, close your eyes, and let yourself recall all that is spooky and sentimental to you.

America’s Got Taint…ed Rest Stops

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New Jersey might be known for Bruce, Bon Jovi, and MTV’s Jersey Shore, but there was actually a time that the King of All Media himself and the newest judge on America’s Got Talent, Howard Stern, was also the talk of the state. Many years after Howard hosted his own late night TV show in the ’80s on Secaucus NJ’s WWOR channel 9, Howard popped up in another part of Jersey, but in a quite different capacity. Although Howard will forever be associated with New York radio, he’s also etched in the history of a New Jersey rest stop.

While on the air speaking with then-candidate for Governor of NJ, Christie Todd Whitman, Howard half jokingly said he’d endorse her campaign if she dedicated a rest stop to him in Jersey. Whitman wound up getting elected in 1994, and on March 19th, 1995, there indeed was a plaque installed at the rest stop on I-295 in honor of Stern. On the plaque was a cartoonish picture of Stern popping his head out of an outhouse in the Burlington, NJ rest stop. It was stolen merely days later. Just finding a picture of the infamous plaque on the Internet proved to be quite a challenge. (I finally found it thanks to The Jersey Shore Mom!)

The shock jock’s rest stop quickly became seedy. Stern named the rest stop after a segment on his show, the “Show Us Your Tits Scenic Overlook.” Motorists were using the bathrooms at the rest area for sex and who knows what else. Gee, what a surprise! In 2003, Governor McGreevy ordered the rest area to be shut down to save up to $1 Million dollars in operating costs. But it was most likely because of the backlash of people who thought the sexual escapades going on there were indecent. McGreevy later came out of the closet and actually admitted to engaging in sex acts at rest stops in New Jersey.

Since then the area was locked up and all toilets were removed from the premises. As the years passed the rest stop became neglected and started to decay, but it hasn’t been forgotten.

As of 2010, when this AP article was published on NJ.com, rumors were flying that the state was thinking of selling the naming rights of all of our rest stops to large companies. This revenue could add up to over a $1 million dollars a year or more.

G.I JERSEY: Dreadnoks On The Jersey Shore!

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PhotobucketMarvel’s G.I Joe comic book line (1982-1994) used New Jersey as a location quite often. In reality, to set a Joe story in Jersey isn’t all that far fetched. New Jersey is home to many Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard bases and training centers including McGuire, Dix, and Picatinny to name a few. Also in Jersey, the shore town of Sandy Hook is not only home to a famous nude beach, but at one time was used as the nation’s first proving ground. Coincidentally, the Sandy Hook Proving Ground was eventually moved to Aberdeen, Maryland which is where G.I Joe issue #81’s story begins.
I always knew Cobra was underhanded, but a lame real estate scheme? Please don’t tell me that Cobra Commander was having secret dealings with real estate infomercial guru Dean Graziosi, whom as I’ve mentioned many times in the past, has me convinced that he was formerly a woman and had a sex change operation. If the Commander did engage in a business relationship with that swindler then I’d lose all respect for him. 
Regardless, Cobra Commander did indeed strike up a deal which lead to the Dreadnoks getting sent to Jersey. In the issue, families of Cobra employees get hauled on a ship to an undisclosed area somewhere in the U.S. We find out that a small span of the Jersey Shore, the fictional Broca Beach, winds up being the secret location where the families are being moved to. The Dreadnoks are basically instructed to be make sure they are moved discreetly. Fat chance with those hell raisers as your point men. Imagine that, The Dreadnoks – what a welcome wagon!

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The idea of the Dreadnoks in Jersey is pretty f’n rad. The ‘noks have a long history in Jersey as they’ve set up many hideouts there since the gang’s inception. In this issue, The Dreadnoks are actually pictured speeding down the infamous New Jersey Turnpike while wrecking up toll booths in the process. Now that’s pretty badass.

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Notice the Haunted Castle at the end of the Broca Beach Boardwalk!
We shouldn’t worry our little heads about Cobra and his Dreadnoks plot at Broca Beach because Mutt and Battleforce 2000 are on the job. As we learned in the first installment of G.I JERSEY, Mutt is a native of the Garden State so why would he need maps of the highways? Jersey highways may seem a little convoluted if you’re a first time visitor, but navigating NJ is pretty damn cut and dry in comparison to other states in the country. It’s true that in Jersey all you need to know is “what exit?” Someone get Mutt a damn GPS!

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You may be wondering, what the hell is Battleforce 2000? Well, BF200 was a specialized crew of Joes who had high tech armor, weapons, and vehicles. Debuting in 1987, it was one of of the gimmicks that used to turn me off about action figure lines and cartoons. With most action figure lines back then and their cartoon or comic counterpart, there always seemed to be some zany new look for the characters with a fancy new group moniker as an excuse to sell more figures.

Futurama’s Got Jokes!

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Before cable TV shows made it fashionable to live in New Jersey, The Garden State was categorized right beside fart jokes on the humor scale. A New Jersey joke still never fails. 
Why can’t we laugh at ourselves? There’s all this nonsense going around about “defending New Jersey,” and it’s totally lame. Since when are we New Jerseyans the type of people not to find humor in stereotypes? I know I’ve never been one to take it seriously when there’s a joke about us in a movie or a comedian starts ripping on Jersey because it’s all in the name of humor. Plus, a lot of the jokes are based on absolute truth. Have you ever heard someone making fun of how bad it reeks on the New Jersey Turnpike? Well, they aren’t exaggerating because it f*cking stinks to high heaven every time I’m driving on it! Stinks is putting it mildly because it usually gets to the point where I have to pull my t-shirt up over my nose and mouth. In the picture below you can see why.

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Futurama’s depiction of New Jersey
So, yeah – that brings us to Season 1, Episode 8 of Futurama entitled “A Big Piece of Garbage” which originally aired on May 11, 1999. Parts of the episode parody the film Armageddon and as you can probably surmise, instead of an asteroid, earth is in danger of being hit by a humongous piece of garbage. During his demonstration of his new invention The Smelloscope, which allows its user to smell planets, Professor Farnsworth shows a historical video he found on the Internet called The Great Garbage Crisis of 2000 which explained what a dump New York City used to be and how it became that way. Here is the voice over from that video:
“…New York City. The year: 2000. The most wasteful society in the history of the galaxy,
and it was running out of places to bury its neverending output of garbage.
The landfills were full…New Jersey was full…”

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 71: Jug…handles

Just when you thought there was way too many, they decide to create more: Jughandles! They are the opposite of breasts, a natural resource that we can never have enough of. The world can always use more boobies, but when it comes to jughandles, New Jersey has way too many. It’s almost as if the highway designers just want to f*ck with us. It feels as if there’s another jughandle every 50 feet. You know what? I speak to many people who don’t even know what a jughandle is! Read Wikipedia’s entry on them here if you have no idea what they are. Usually people unfamiliar with jughandles are from out of state, and they aren’t completely bombarded by convoluted u-turns and asinine roadways. Today’s tee comes from Great To Be Here, an online store specializing in funny t-shirts for people who are “Passionate about Places.”

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 68: NJ Zombie Walk 2010

People are dead serious about zombies. All over the country zombie walks will take place on Halloween weekend, and you will be in danger unless you take the proper precautions. It may be wise to order yourself, your significant other, and your kids some protective tees which will make it clear to the zombies that you are NOT breakfast, but merely horrendous tasting innocent bystanders. The survival tee was cool last year, but this year there are 2 versions! The first is for men (or women who like to wear men’s t-shirts) and shows a male zombie ripping through a Garden State Parkway sign, and the second is a babydoll tee for women that features a female zombie tearing through a New Jersey Turnpike sign.

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NJ Zombie Baby T-shirt

The last t-shirt is splattered with an exclusive bloodied New Jersey ZOMBIE license plate which is available with a $25 dollar donation. There’s a lot more to look at and purchase, so visit the official New Jersey Zombie Walk website where you can get all the info you need to join in the walk and get other awesome NJ Zombie merch. If you can swing it, try to make a donation because proceeds will go toward offsetting the cost of putting on the event. Their website explains that there are rental, permit, and insurance fees, so shell out the cash muthatruckas! The 3rd annual NJ Zombie Walk kicks off at Asbury Park Convention Hall on the afternoon of October 30th!

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 35: Moving

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Somehow everything in my life reverts back to Batman, KISS, and Pro Wrestling. In this instance, wrestling motivated me to want to see Moving back in 1988. If not for the pre-release coverage in WWF magazine, I would not have been as remotely interested in seeing the Richard Pryor comedy. Thanks to New Jersey’s “Walking Condominium,” King Kong Bundy’s role in the film, I suddenly became unusually geared up to see it. At that time I was just a kid and it would be a long time before I started obsessively writing little globs of inconsequential New Jersey drivel on the Internet. A private goes through boot camp to advance in the ranks of the Army, while other people let WWF Magazine be the handbook of their life.

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In Moving, Richard Pryor stars as Arlo, an engineer living in New Jersey who loses his job and has to take a new one in Boise, Idaho. There’s one tiny stipulation though, his family has to move with him. Throughout the film, there’s appearances by Rodney Dangerfield, Dana Carvey, and Jay and Silent Bob’s favorite lead singer…Morris Day! Terrorizing Arlo is his neighbor, Frank, played by Randy Quaid, who is a little more sadistic than his trademark role of Cousin Eddie. This time Quaid plays a creep with a brain tumor instead of a metal plate in his head. There’s wacky hijinks galore as Arlo attempts to relocate his family and start his new job.

After noticing that Richard Pryor has starred in 2 films set in New Jersey, it lead me to coin the term Pryor Points. Feel free to use the term to commend an actor, singer, band, writer, etc. who involves themselves in a Jersey related project, for example, “Writer Robert Siegel and director Darren Aronofsky scored major Pryor Points for setting their film, The Wrestler, in New Jersey.” Moving was unabashed about it’s Jersey setting as you can tell by it’s tagline: On the New Jersey Turnpike, no one can hear you scream. I’ll attest to that, but only if you are driving with your windows closed and nobody is in the car with you.

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I’m positive I’ll draw some flack for this, but Moving beats Brewster’s Millions any day. Sure, Moving might be accused of being sillier fare than Brewster’s Millions, but it’s a comedy dammit! Did I mention that motherf-ckin’ King Kong Bundy has a role in the film? It was worth bringing up again because knowing is half the battle, and awareness might save you from being smashed by an unexpected Bundy Avalanche. How could such a big cuddly Hawaiian-shirted teddy bear do such a thing?

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Ohhh…that’s how. 
You know the shit’s gonna hit the fan when Bundy makes his angry face.

 I suppose offering him up a Pupu platter would be a futile maneuver

See how everything relates to wrestling? All it takes is a 445 lb. ginormous badass from Atlantic City to get you to see it my way regardless of the Hawaiian shirt. Wait…what’s that you say? You still aren’t convinced that Moving is better than Brewster’s Millions? What if I throw in a young Stacey Dash, bound and tied in a suburban New Jersey basement? Ding ding, ding! WINNER!
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