Sunday, December 24, 2006

A brief hiatus will now ensue

I'm going to take a couple of days off from shining the humor beacon across the land in order to enjoy the Holidays. I'll be back near the end of the week. Until then, don't go see "The Pursuit of Happyness." Instead, scour the cable channels in pursuit of the late 80's TV yuletide classic "A Very Brady Christmas." You won't regret it. And by that I mean you will.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

R.I.P Joseph Barbera (1911-2006)

Animation czar Joseph Barbera (the one with the shoe-polish black hair) passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 95. Along with partner William Hanna (who previously passed away in 2001) they formed Hanna-Barbera and went on to create all the Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as The Flinstones, Johnny Quest (an awesome series), The Jetsons and Yogi Bear to name just a few. In fact, anytime you watched a cartoon that featured a talking animal wearing cufflinks, a tie or a hat, it was probably from the Hanna-Barbera stable (think Wally Gator, Magilla Gorilla, et al). Their animation wasn't of the highest quality (except for Johnny Quest), but they pretty much dominated the Saturday morning landscape for decades nonetheless. One of my guilty fav's was a terrible 60's cartoon they did called "Dino-Boy", which depicted a young obnoxious kid somehow trapped in pre-historic times, where he was befriended by a caveman named "Ugh." They also did a 60's "Moby Dick" cartoon, wherein Moby Dick was a kind benevolent creature that hung around with, you guessed it, some precocious kids in modern times. Such is the dark side of having your work in the public domain, Mr. Melville.

The funeral will be held on Friday and will most likely include some pallbearers carrying the casket past an endless background that has the same potted plant or cactus repeated in it over and over again.

Monday, December 18, 2006

You people make me sick

What the hell is the matter with you, public at large? Have you no gray matter? Is there not a speck of intelligence buried beneath your thick skulls?

I speak of course, of this weekends box office tally, which grimly reveals that "The Pursuit of Happyness", Will Smith's transparent attempt to net an Academy Award nomination ("Oscar bait" as they say), was #1 at the box office, with a 3-day haul of $27 million.

Listen, I know the general population is stupid. I held my tongue when "Dancing With The Stars" pulled in big ratings. And I've always felt that picking on "American Idol" was going after low-hanging comedy fruit, as deserving of evisceration as that program and the people who watch it may be.

But my tongue can be held no longer. So I must break it down for you.

Here goes.

Will Smith stinks. His movies stink. His 'music' stinks. His performance as Muhammad Ali stunk. It's true. It was no better a Muhammed Ali impersonation than any semi-drunk guy at a party can do. And I'm including white guys. What's that? You say he was nominated for an Oscar for that? So what?! Anyone who stars in a biopic gets nominated for an Oscar these days. And you're going to hold up the Academy Awards as a symbol of quality? You're referring to the same Oscars that never saw fit to grant one of their worthless trophies to Hitchcock, Kubrick or Scorcese, right? I thought so.

And if Mr. Smith wasn't bad enough, now we have to deal with his son! That's right, his son was his co-star in this dreck! And now you've made his progeny a star! Do you know what you've done? Do you understand what you've unleashed?

Listen up. you mopes. If you like Will Smith, see his movies or buy his music, stop reading my blog. Take your time-killing elsewhere. I'd sooner have a readership comprised of Joseph Mengele, David Berkowitz and anyone who's ever lived at The Spahn Ranch than Will Smith fans.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Speaking of "Animal House"...

It was the fall of 1995. I was still in school and working part-time at my first ad agency. A friend of mine who made props for the local commercial industry got a gig working on a made-for-TV movie set in Milwaukee that was going to film exteriors there for a week or so before heading up to Canada to shoot the rest of production on the cheap.

My friend called and said that they had some jobs for drivers available and that he could get me 3 or 4 days work at $150 a day. This was easy work (sit around and then drive "the stars" to the set when they were needed ) and good money for a guy in school, so I was certainly interested. But what sold me was the fact that the movie was called "A Family of Cops" and would be starring the one and only Charles Bronson!

I eagerly accepted the gig and spent a couple days driving around the insane Daniel Baldwin, one of the Baldwin brothers and a man who's problems with substance abuse have been well-documented. He was chatty and nice enough to me, though.

But the real thrill came on my third day. It was nighttime, and I was hanging around the production office with nothing to do. A production manager came in and said "Is anyone available to go to the airport and pick up John Vernon?" My mind raced. Where had I heard that familar name before? Wait a minute! John Vernon is...Dean Wormer from "Animal House"! Holy shit! I quickly volunteered and speed off to the airport. And yes, they gave me a sign to hold up at the gate that said "John Vernon" on it. Not that I needed it. He came off the plane and came over to me and let me tell you, the dude was well cast as Dean Wormer. He was a big, imposing guy - about 6'3" and 220 lbs.

And he was super cool. He wouldn't sit in the back and let me chaffuere him around. Instead, he hopped in front with me. He was very chatty and more than willing to talk about "Animal House" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales" (which he was awesome in). And now for the best part. He asked if I minded if he smoked. I said no, go right ahead. He then said "Do you want one?" I looked down, and he had a pack of Kents extended towards me. I didn't smoke, but rightly figured, "When am I ever going to get the chance to smoke with Dean Wormer again?" So I accepted, and Dean Wormer and I smoked as we drove down I-43 in Milwaukee. The next day when he saw me he smiled and waved from a distance, which was also cool. Suffice to say, I was sad when John Vernon passed away in February of 2005 at the age of 72.

I only saw Bronson in the flesh once or twice. But people said he was nice. One of the times I saw him was when I was walking by a trailer, and I saw him sitting inside, alone and staring at the wall. Weird.

The movie turned out terrible, by the way. But I knew it would. And even the thrill of seeing my name in the end credits was snatched away when the promos for the local news came on, causing the credits to be crammed into a little box on the side of the TV screen, distorted and spooling by so rapidly as to be indecipherable.

The super-funny guy who fell off a cliff

I'm currently reading a great book called "A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever " by a fellow named Josh Karp. The reason I think this is a great book is because even though I'm already very familiar with the subject, I'm still enjoying reading it.

For those of you who don't know, Doug Kenney was a guy who almost single-handedly created a new kind of humor. He was one of the founders of and driving force behind National Lampoon magazine, which was launched by him and Henry Beard, after graduating from Harvard and reviving the Harvard Lampoon while there. Although now a lame brand name that gets slapped on boorish, inane comedies, National Lampoon magazine was at it's peak from 1970-1975 one of the funniest things ever created. It was also subversive at a time when comedy, save for Lenny Bruce, generally wasn't. I mean, people called "Laugh-In" subversive, but come on. It was just flowers, Artie Johnson and bad one-liners.

It was a great magazine (look for some of the older anthologies, as well as the classic "1964 Yearbook Parody" at used book stores), and it was not only creatively successful, but it made Kenney rich. He and the other two founders had a five-year buy-out clause in their contracts, and their publisher wanted the rights when the mag hit it big. Thus, he had to pay them $7.8 millions dollars or so. In 1975 this was serious money, and Kenney instantly became insanely wealthy.

Kenny's brand of smart, dark humor literally created the climate that allowed for "Saturday Night Live" to exist and flourish. In fact, most of the original "Not Ready for Prime Time Players" were previously performers on National Lampoon's radio show, performing material written by Kenney and other notables such as the equally-deserving-of-import Michael O' Donaghue (who went on to be SNL's first head writer. He wrote the classic "NBC cancels Star Trek" sketch, among many others). The ironic voice he gave birth to still influences people to this day, and it's not an overtstatement to say with certainty that every writer who has ever toiled on "The Simpsons" and shows of that ilk, not to mention "The Onion", revere Kenney and his work.

Kenney was also one of the creators / writers of "National Lampoon's Animal House." You may recognize him as the character of "Stork", who led the parade's marching band into a dead-end alley and uttered the immortal line "Well, what the hell are we supposed to do, ya mo-ron?"

Kenney (left) as "Stork" in "Animal House." Co-writer Chris Miller,
who also played "Hardbar", is pictured at right.

He was also the co-writer of "Caddyshack", which was certainly a more ramshackle affair, and he knew it. He was also heavily into cocaine at this time. He went to Hawaii with Chevy Chase in August of 1980 to dry out, and stayed there to hang out some more when Chevy left. A couple of days later he was reported missing. Eventually his body was found at the bottom of a cliff, broken and sunburned. It is unclear if he fell accidentally (the edge of the cliff was eroded and had a warning sign posted on it) or, despondent with the way his life was going, leapt to his death.

They found several notes / jokes / ideas in his hotel room. One of them read: "These are the happiest days I've ever ignored."

Some Lampoon colleagues were fond of saying that "he fell while looking for a place to jump." When my young 8th grade self heard the news of his death, I was pretty unhappy. A good friend's father had a bunch of old National Lampoon mags and we used to read them all the time. I was pretty obssessed with that strange, small world of comedy at that point (SNL, SCTV, Steve Martin, National Lampoon) and how everybody seemed to know each other and work together. Esquire magazine did a cover story on him shortly after his death that painted him as somewhat of a madman and pissed a lot of people off, so I'm glad this book has come along. It's an interesting and detailed portrait of a man who shaped an entire industry, all before the age of 33. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Horny Manatee is online

They brought us "The Gaseous Weiner", "The Masturbating Bear", "The Coked-Up Werewolf", an endlessly vomiting Kermit the Frog, and countless others. Now the folks at "Late Night with Conan O' Brien" have added to their stable of memorable characters with "The Horny Manatee." What's more, he has a website, complete with compromising photos and a live webcam. Enjoy. And just try not thinking about Wilford Brimley as you do so.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Muppet acid rock

Remember "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas"? It was a Jim Henson production that was shown on HBO back in 1981 (good god I'm getting old), and featured a band of otters that, well, had a jug band. It's all there in the title, folks. Anyway, there was some talent show that the otters needed to win, and seemed a cinch to do so, but fate threw a curveball at our wholesome heroes in the form of the Riverbottom Nightmare Band, a loud, sinister rock band that has a snake playing the guitar and a platform boot-wearing bear with the voice of Cookie Monster on keyboards.

One thing I really like about this clip is that the song that the Riverbottom Nightmare Band sings is about themselves. It's even called "Riverbottom Nightmare Band." This predates hip-hops obssession with self-referencing by a couple of years (or at least comes very close to tying "Rapper's Delight").

In particular, I urge you wait until until the 2:13 mark, when the frog creature playing the drums unleashes a blood-curdling shreik that really takes the song to new heights.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Late-breaking Freemason news

Did you ever wonder what happened to Bronson Pinchot, aka "Balki" on the 80's sitcom "Perfect Strangers?" No? Me neither. Nontheless, we are presenting this story hot off the newswire. It appears that as of late, Bronson has done more than just sexually harass (clumsily, I might add) women on VH1's "The Surreal Life." Indeed, he has been conferred the degrees of a Freemason, the esoteric fraternity of dudes who practice strange handshakes and shared beliefs such as secretive metaphysical ideals, the exclusion of women, and the existence of a "Supreme Being" that each member defines according to their own beliefs. Whatever that means.

You can read all about it here. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm afraid that I must now go resign my membership in protest.

"We hunger for living flesh. And punitive damages."

Longtime readers of this hard-hitting newsblog may remember us blowing the lid off the story of the Minneapolis zombies who were dancing in public and arrested "for simulating weapons of mass destruction" back in July of this year (If not, I believe
I just described the situation in enough detail for you to catch up). Well, the zombies are back. And this time, they're accompanied by creatures even more terrfying than themselves: lawyers!

That's right: the zombies are suing, claiming that "the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County violated their free rights and discriminated against them." And believe me, the zombies won't stop suing. They'll keep coming and coming. They're relentless. They usually inflict pain and suffering, but now they seek compensation for it. It's enough to make your skin crawl!

Click here for the story and for mugshots of the zombies.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Blogfoot's Handy Holiday Gift Guide (or B.H.H.G.G. for short)

There's no denying it: the holiday season is upon us, people. Which means it's time for you to shell out some of your hard-earned gold ingots for the people you care about, or even may not care much about. To help you wade through the morass of choices, we have combed the internet to bring you gifts off the beaten path that will delight and amuse recipients of all ages and mental capacities.

First up is...Bubo the mechanical owl! Yes, that's right: this lame character from the 1981 howler (apologies to Ray Harryhausen, whom I love and revere)"Clash of the Titans" can now sit atop your mantle, clicking, whirring and hooting at all your guests. Actually, it's not really mechanical at all. You can't control it. So you'd have to pose it and make all the owly / beeping noises yourself. But you know what they say...imagination is the best toy of all! This baby is only $350.00 and is available from the strange nerds at Stelter Creative.

Next up is a more interactive type of item...a puppet of the deformed mutant baby from the 1976 shocker "It's Alive!" The puppet is made so that you hold it as you would an infant, proudly over your shoulder for all to see. Strap it on, hit the mall and watch the masses scratch their collective heads. Make gurgling and mewling sounds to amuse passerby. Growl at children. You're in control! It's available here for a mere $60.

And finally, we close out this installment of B.H.H.G.G. with an item that is both practical and amusing. We're all aware of the rash of recent studies showing that obesity is on the rise in this country. Well, there's also a lesser-known study that suggests the public's pop-culture knowledge is waning dangerously. This item addresses both issues: it's a scale that measures your weight not in pounds, stones or kilograms, but in pop culture characters!

So if you're skinny and step on the scale, it may tell you that you weigh as much as "Gizmo" from "Gremlins", or maybe Mr. Bean. But if you exhibit no self-control and eat everything in sight during the holidays, you may hit the dreaded "Mr. Ed" mark. I can only hope that the highest setting is for William "Cannon / Jake and the Fatman" Conrad. Although the website says that it ranges "from baby Jesus to King Kong", so that might be my answer. This item is from England, so I suggest you order early.

More suggestions to come over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More odd (read: unintentionally sexual) comic book covers

Here's a few more for your viewing pleasure. First off, we have an Archie cover (click on all to enlarge).

And here's some more Archie. I knew Riverdale High was a swingin' place.

And here's an old Tarzan cover. Nothing overt here, but there's definitely a post-something vibe in the hizzut (street slang for "hut").

Sorry to "work blue", as the comedians say. But these are funny. I will post more as soon as I swipe them from other sites.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Interesting old comic book cover

Not much to add here.

Wisconsin Bigfoot update

The recent alleged Bigfoot sighting / deer carcass theft outside of Milwaukee (see hard-hitting story below) created quite a stir in the area, with two boys saying that they too saw a creature, and area news stations all running stories in the incident. Some high-faluttin' "Bigfoot investigator" also flew in from Florida or some other swampy shitbox, but found no substantial evidence.

But according to this website, which is run by someone who makes Fox Mulder look like Carl Sagan,the reason no proof of a Bigfoot was found is simple: it wasn't a Bigfoot at all.

It was a werewolf. Or more accurately, a bearwolf. Even more terrifying!

Well, that explains it. Thank God a level head came along to give this situation some clarity. And although I was initially skeptical of their claim, the ultra-realistic drawing of the beast they posted convinced me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

From the "It's About Time" Department: A Japanese talk show hosted by a chimp

Just what it sounds like, people. In their brilliance, the Japanese have created a talk show hosted by a chimpanzee. Better yet, his Ed McMahon-esque sidekick is a camel named
Pierre Rodriguez, which is pretty sweet. So, without further ado, behold the CNC...the Chimpan News Channel.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ah-oo-ga! Ah-oo-ga! Bigfoot spotted in Wisconsin!

The sleepy state of Wisconsin (and indeed, the world as a whole) was rocked recently by a report concerning a Wisconsin DNR employee who swears that Bigfoot stole a deer carcass out of his truck.

The incident happened this Thursday in the Holy Hill area of Washington County, about an hour northwest of Milwaukee. A man contracted by the Department of Natural Resources to pick up road kill came to the Washington County Sheriff's Department to report that a "7-foot-tall animal" had taken a deer out of the back of his pickup truck at about 1 a.m. Thursday, Sheriff Brian Rahn said.

According to the report, the man loaded a deer carcass into the back of his truck on Highway 167 near Station Way, got into the cab and prepared to drive away when a large black animal, very wide and larger than a bear, jumped into the back of his pickup and dragged out the carcass he had just loaded.

Why would Bigfoot do this, you ask? Simple, you moron. Deer liver is a staple of the Bigfoot diet. It's packed with vitamins, although in such concentrated doses that it would be poisonous to a human. But to a much larger creature like Bigfoot, it makes for fine eating. Deer carcasses are found all over the country with their livers missing but the rest of the innards intact. This is because Bigfoot is eating them. It's true.

Blogfoot still maintains friendships with people in the Milwaukee area, and as such, operatives have been dispatched to the scene to collect evidence and report findings. However, these same operatives (you know who you are) should be ashamed that they didn't notify me of this epoch-shattering story in the first place, as I stumbled upon it on my own. Frankly, I'm sickened.

You can read the official (albeit short) account here.
There's also a video of the story that I couldn't get to work.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hulk celebrate! Then Hulk smash!

As our friends over at Giant Monster were kind enough to point out, today is the 55th birthday of Lou Ferrigno, TV's Incredible Hulk.
Mrs. Blogfoot and I saw Mr. Ferrigno in person back in the summer of 2002 at the San Diego Comic Con, and I can confirm that dude has keep himself in what could only be described as tip-top condition. Mrs. Blogfoot said, "Jesus, he's huge!", which prompted me to wittily reply, "Hmmm. Maybe that's why the hired him to play The Hulk."

Thanks to GM for the pic as well. I'm lazy.

More "Buck Rogers"

It gets worse, people. Lots worse.

The Buck Rogers clip I posted the other day brought forth such an avalanche of rapturous feedback...comments, emails, rose pedals tossed in my path in the downtown Minneapolis skyway...that I thought I should post some more. Give the people what they want, y'know?

First up is a clip that illustrates my previous point about this show being driven
by lust ( well, that and a rock-bottom budget ). Not even the robots are immune from this permeating vibe of sexiness. Then again, maybe everyone is just taking their cues from Buck, who in this clip is lounging around in a white robe that's opened up to his frickin' navel. They're probably visiting a 'pleasure planet' in this episode or something. Gird your loins!

It's almost inspiring in its awfulness. The female robot doesn't even have breasts,
a bigger ass, or any suggestion of a womanly shape. They just threw some gold spray paint on an extra Twikki suit they had laying around. And her catchphrase? "Booty, booty, booty"? No wonder he got all excited. Well, at least she didn't lead him on. Although I feel kinda bad for Dr. Theopolis, the round clock / lite brite thingy with the soothing voice. Poor Dr. Dr. Theopolis. He has no one.

Next up we have a clip where lycra-clad beauty Wilma Deering (played Erin Gray, who generously doled out boners to 13 year-olds across the country circa 1980) falls prey to a terrifying space vampire, then gets all slutty as a result. Yeah! This clip is larger, so let it load for a bit.

I'm not going to lie...I'm very interested in seeing how this episode ends.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An amendment

I've decided that a better title for the previous "Buck Rogers" post would have been:

"In the future cars will fly, disease and famine will be eradicated, and people will use 90% of ther brain capacity. But they will still dance badly."

Please make a note of it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In the future cars will fly, people will use 90% of their brain capacity and dancing will be even sexier

Here's a clip from the pilot episode of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century", a terrifically bad TV show from the early 80's. I watched this show as a young lad, but rest assured I hated it. I only tolerated it because I was sci-fi starved at that point in my life. It was from the unfertile mind of a fiend known Glen A. Larson, the man behind "Battlestar Galactica." It shared that show's lame attempts at humor and recycling of the same 3 special effects shots. It also had a shitty robot named Twikki who was voiced by Mel Blanc, the throat behind Bug Bunny.

The clip below shows the recently-thawed Buck attend a formal event in the future, held in honor of the heavily lip-glossed Princess Ardala. I think Buck ended up banging her later. In fact, if memory serves, Buck tried to bang anything that came near him on this show. He was easily one of the horniest characters in TV history, perhaps rivaling even the great Captain Kirk.

Anyway, Buck finds the event to be rather stodgy, and decides to "turn this mother out," as the kids say. What happens next may cause blindness, and perhaps in rare cases, infertility to those who subject themselves to repeated viewings. You've been warned.

It's Tuesday November 7th, which means you should...

....race to the store and buy a copy of "Guitar Hero 2" for Playstation 2! That's right, the sequel to one of the greatest video games of all time is being released today, and it's chock full of all new songs. You can jam along to classics like Cheap Trick's "Surrender", Van Halen's "You Really Got Me" and "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath, among many others. And now two people can play at the same time, and one can play the bass part while the other plays lead or rhythm guitar. Truly, these are wondrous times we live in. We played the first one here at work and managed to finish it, and it was nothing short of awesome.

Once you conquer all the levels, you could, time permitting, also vote.

FYI...I did both already. I voted early, then stopped at Target and picked up the game, and still made it to work before 9 AM. I rule!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Drunkins (drunkenly-carved pumpkins)

Some of my peeps came over and carved pumpkins just before Halloween. I had been drinking for about 4 hours prior so my carving skillz weren't quite up to par, plus the pumpkins were really thick. So thick that the serated carving tool barely poked through the skin (Hide? Husk?). Wotta revoltin' development. However, I managed to eek out a Gene Simmons pumpkin. The pic is blurry, as we forgot to set the shake reduction on the digital camera (that darn booze again), but you'll get the idea.

The God of Thunder / Kiss bassist / banger of many women / star of 1984's sci-fi smash "Runaway" in glorious pumpkin form.

I also made a Michael Myers, aka the Boogeyman / Shape from "Halloween." Did you know that the mask in that movie is actually an old Don Post Studio's mask of William Shatner from the 70's spray-painted white? It's true. The budget on the classic 1978 film was so low that some crafty crewman came up with that as a solution. This pic is even blurrier, if you can believe that. So, here goes: Michael Myers is on the left, Jack Skellington is in the middle, and Gene is on the right. A friend did the Oogie-Boogie Man from "Nightmare Before X-Mas" that got cropped out. Sorry, dude. You can solace in the fact that it would have just been blurry anyway.

We'll do better next year. Although I maintain that the insanely dense and thick pumpkins did not help our cause, and neither did the booze, and they looked good in non-blurry person.

Two things I never need to hear again as long as I live

1.) "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (original or long, rambling jam-style cover version)

2.) "Hey...any chance we can get those changes we talked about to the client today? They need them for a 1:00 meeting." (various account people through the years)

That oughta do it for now.







Blogfoot would like you to read Blogfoot

Blogfoot understands that the above sentence makes no sense whatsoever, or at best is gramatically incorrect to the nth degree. But the other day I googled 'Blogfoot' to see what came up, and my Blogfoot is the third entry! Third! Oh, the ignonomy! The humilation! Apparently there is a mobile blogging system named Blogfoot, and they occupy the first 2 entries. There is also a German website with an entry that states "Hier entsteht die Domain", which I don't mind so much because they're listed after me and I find most things Germanic to be amusing.

Thus, from this point onward there will be more posts with Blogfoot in the titles, and liberal-to-the-point-of-maddening usage of the word Blogfoot in an attempt to displace this lame photo-posting site from the top Google slot.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How to not get sued on Halloween

In a society that is as litigiously obsessed as ours, one can never be too careful. As the internet and its various file-sharing controversies (Napster, Youtube, et al) have demonstrated, people everywhere are willing to sue at the drop of a hat in order to vigorously defend their copyrights and trademarks, regardless of how invaluable they may be.

Sadly, the once-innocent joyous holiday of Halloween has fallen prey to this same "sue-happy" zietgeist. Time was, a kid could just dress up as Frankenstein's Monster or Dracula and call it a day. Now their candy-gathering revelry would be ruined by a lawyer from the estate of Bram Stoker serving them with papers or Sara Karloff (granddaughter of Boris and a big fan of suing people) chasing them down the block threatening to take them to court for their fun-size Snickers.

But we at Blogfot care about you, our loyal readers. Thus, we present a couple of costume examples that would stand up to scrutiny in any court in the land.

First up is one I spotted a couple of years ago at a costume store, and it made me laugh out loud. Thankfully, it can still be found on the internet today. It's called, in a stroke of brilliant duplicity, the "Wizard Boy Wig."

Say hello to "Larry Trotter", student of the mystic arts.
He may or may not be British, and his mail is
delivered to him by a duck.

Just to be clear, this is in no way meant to be a popular boy wizard of literary origin that has spun off a bunch of successful movies from a series of best-selling books that are protected by copyright. No sir, that is not what this is at all. This is a "Wizard Boy Wig." Just what it sounds like. If there was such a thing as a boy wizard, he might comb his hair like this. Lots of kids have bangs, don't they? That's all we're saying. Furthermore, said kid may need glasses to correct an astigmatism he might have, and if he did, he might look like this. So move along shysters, and take your legal writs with you. Absolutely nothing to see here.

Next up we have a costume that manages to be funny and yet tweak antiquated male expectations of femininity at the same time: the "Humorous Grand Ole Opry Star Costume", made available to consumers via the cunning legal minds at Party America.

As you can see, the costume gives its wearer humongous boobs and a giant bouffant of obviously peroxided hair. How ludricrous is that! Surely such a thing doesn't exist in real life. A character such as this could only be the stuff of fantasy. Just think, you could wear this costume to a Halloween party and charm everyone with your southern twang and sassy, straight-talking personality. Then you could grab a guitar and sing some of your own completely made-up country/western hits. Here's some ideas / suggestions for songs to get you started: you could sing a song about harassment in the workplace called "8 to 4." That would be good. Or perhaps a sensitive ballad about eternal devotion titled "I Will Forever Have Strong Feelings For You." Then, as a finale, you could pluck a male party-goer from the crowd (preferably a white haired, bearded one) and sing a duet about togetherness, maybe titled "Small Partially Sunken Pieces of Land in the River" or something like that. It'll be a blast.

So there you go. You are now legally informed and should be able to avoid any costume litigation. Happy Halloween-ing!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Element 118 is here

Or actually, it was here. For all of 1-1000th of a second.

The New York Times is reporting that "a team of Russian and American scientists said yesterday that it had created the heaviest element ever seen in a laboratory, a dab of matter that lasted for less than one-thousandth of a second but would add an entry at the farthest reaches of the periodic table and suggest that strange new elements may lie beyond."

Awesome. "Element 118." They had better not name it anything else, because you can't get much cooler than "Element 118." I guess "Element X" would be cooler, but I believe that was already coined by the nefarious villain Dr. Who is the classic Toho Studios production "King Kong Escapes." That's the one where the good Doctor creates a giant mechanical ape to dig said radioactive material out the antarctic ice so that he can sell it to the highest bidder on the international black market. Why build a giant mechanical ape to do this, you ask? Fool! You lack vision! Because if you're going to go through the trouble of making a giant, walking robot to do your bidding, you might as well go that extra mile and give it the face of a gorilla. It's what seperates the the artisan from the mere journeyman.

In the very near future Element 118 will be refined and ready
for use in various consumer-based applications, such as providing
fuel for a fleet of giant, labor-saving gorilla robots.

I'm also pretty interested in the quote referring to the farthest reaches of the periodic table suggesting that "strange new elements may lie beyond." I suspect they are referring to Flubber, or possibly a higher grade of Silly Putty that is safe to eat. Time will tell.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Graphic Design 101

The above movie poster is a rare example of perfect visual communication. In this age of photoshop trickery and distressed type, Bauhaus-inspired design such as this truly stands out from the over art-directed tripe that clogs the visual landscape.

All the important information is present, and laid out in a heirarchy that leaves no question unanswered, even at a glance. To wit: Tom Hanks and Adrian Zmed are starring in a movie called "Bachelor Party." Tom Hanks is the groom (they cannily put him in a tuxedo to indicate this). His zany friends (mouths agape / brandishing alcoholic beverages) are rarin' to go, but Hanks appears shocked, perhaps even reluctant to participate in the bacchanalia, which adroitly suggests a rich emotional backstory (one that the film delivered on in spades). Also clearly communicated is that women will be present, presumably in a state of undress, as conveyed by the stocking-clad female's legs in the foreground. With this, the viewer is informed that the women in this film will be "rarin' to go" as well. In other words, tits & ass will be served, presumably in copious amounts.

The type choice could hardly be considered an afterthought, either. It is colorful and bouyant. Direct, yet celebrational. It clearly says "party." The streamers and confetti are more examples of the tiny-yet-not-inconsequential brushstrokes that bring this rich canvas to life.

Taken in totality, the message is undeniably clear: some crazy shit is about to go down.

Design students and would-be-practitioners, study this well and take note.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm torn

I'm in the market for some new shoes. But I'm tired of rocking the same old New Balance sneakers, so I decided to get some ape shoes. You know, the shoes worn in the "Planet of the Apes" series of that are molded with a thumb-like digit on the side to make it look like the wearer has ape feet. Here's where my dilemma comes in.

Pictured above are the chimp feet (chimps being the scientists and citizens in the films), which clearly look ape-like. But they're made of suede, a material which isn't exacty famous for being resilient to the elements, a concern since I reside in the midwest. Also, I'm not super-enthused by the Peter Pan-esque green color they come in, as I believe for the most part that shoes should be black or brown.

And here are some boots, as worn by the gorillas, the soldiers / military arm of industrial-agro ape complex, which certainly fit my boot-wearing idiom. But to be honest they look more like camel feet. Camel toes, if you will. But being constructed of traditional leather, they would certainly wear better than the sueded chimp feet, and also look better with denim, my pant fabric of choice.

I'm clearly going to have to give this some more thought.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hail Samson

As this year marks the 25th anniversary of his passing, I thought I should take a minute to pay my respects to Samson, the mammoth gorilla who ruled the Milwaukee County Zoo from 1950-1981. Samson was truly a Milwaukee icon, easily besting other pretenders to the throne such as Bob Uecker, The Culligan Man and "Bowling Game" host Howard "One Nut" Guernette (look it up). Samson was featured on mugs, t-shirts city bus passes, etc...they even showed him on the local evening news eating special holiday meals year after year. Dude ruled that 'burg. And when he died, it was front page news. And I mean lead story, right-under-the-masthead front page news.

Samson came to the Milwaukee Zoo from Cameroon in 1951 and soon became a zoo favorite, right up until his death from a massive heart attack on November 27, 1981, a dark day in my life (An autopsy showed that Samson had suffered 5 previous heart attacks that had gone undetected! Samson was tough.). Although Milwacky does have its weak spots, its zoo is not one of them. It has a great reputation, and deservedly so. I mean, come has Monkey Island.

Do not drink the water around Monkey Island, as it is 87% poop.

At his peak, Samson weighed 652 pounds (the average weight for an adult male gorilla is 400-450 lbs). And he was grouchy. He sat on his throne ( which was actually a scale ) glowering at the slack-jawed yokels like a hirsute Archie Bunker, and was famous for rushing at the glass and pounding on it. I saw him do this many times, and it was impressive to say the least. But he was in actuality pretty docile and quite attached to his long-time handler, a fellow named Sam Mamalfa. They tried to mate him (Samson, not Sam) in 1975, but Samson would have none of it, apparently deciding that a monastic existence suited him best.

Samson's skeleton is now kept on display at the Milwaukee County Museum, where a new exhibit dedicated to him will soon be unveiled. Yeah! Samson like a mu-fucka! The exhibit will include the skeleton, video footage of Samson at the zoo, a death mask made of his face and more. A sculptor is also making a full-body replica of him, and you can watch a video diary of that here. Info on the exhibit itself and more about this legendary brute can be found here.

I did not know that

Did you know that more men have walked on the moon ( 11 ) than have flown jetpacks? And that there are currently only 4 working jetpacks in the world? And that jetpacks are actually referred to as "rocketbelts" by flight cognescenti? I didn't know any of these things, but now I do, thanks to this article on about the world's first rocketbelt convention, which was recently held at the Niagra Aerospace Museum.

The featured guests were a bunch of old leathery fellas who spent their lives in the steadfast and unwavering pursuit of a dream: to rise in a wobbly fashion 20 feet off the ground and then surge forward at a speed of 6 mph, ignoring the other easier, cheaper and safer forms of transporation that society had to offer.

"Why, it seems like only yesterday that Larry "Buster" Crabbe and
I would go fishing together. Or was it whoring? I need a nap."

And if you thought comic book conventions were rife with obsessed weirdos (which they are), this convention sounds like a similarly blue-balled affair, as the article states that "the rocketbelt builders who gathered in Niagara tended to have plenty of garage space, a good set of tools, and an understanding wife (one rocketbelt builder was with his on their honeymoon). A few came with their works-in-progress in tow—none functional yet, but all promised to be "95 percent there."

Which begs the question: what is the missing 5% of a super-dangerous device?

Blogfoot trudges onward

Congratulations to me, Senor Blogfoot, for on this past Sunday this scrappy little site received its 5,000 visit. No, that is not a typo. 5000. In conclusion, I would to thank my 19 readers for checking in 47 times a day since our inception a mere 7 months ago.

Blogfoot birthday tip

My birthday is fast approaching, and you're all probably wondering what to get me. Well, wonder no more: simply harness the staggering search power of the internet and find me one of these battery-operated remote-control Yeti toys from the 1960's. It should only run you somewhere in the $400-$800 range, but I'm worth it. Barring that, I also enjoy cookies and cupcakes.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Fonz will teach you how to honk

Apparently at some point in the 80's there was a sweeping public safety initiative that decided the best way to keep children safe was to teach them how make a sound like a bull moose in heat whenever danger threatened. And then the powers that be took this further and brought in the one man who had his finger (thumb?) on the pulse of America's youth but could still give this topic some much-need gravitas: Arthur Fonzarelli. And it worked great, as everyone can remember. To this day in fact, children from coast-to-coast can be heard honking whenever danger rears its head.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm gonna get me some chickens

I recently was told and have confirmed that it's perfectly legal for me to have live chickens on my property in the sleepy (well, sleepy except for the K-Fed-esque assface who drives up and down the block pumping the bass in his Delta '88) hamlet of St. Anthony Village, Minnesota. And I really want to take advantage of this. I want some chickens. I want fresh eggs, and I want to throw feed around my yard and let them peck at it. Our back porch or yard has ample room for a coop, and I think the chickens might chase my wife's chihuahua around, which would be funny. The only problem that I can see is that the neighbors across the street have some foxes living under their porch. This may necessitate the purchase of a shotgun, which I could fire as I burst forth from the back door in my overalls when they try and storm my hen house.

Building a handsome coop such as this should be snap.
I may have to go with something more modern / pre-fab, though.

Now I just have to figure out where to get some chicks. I could even try and get a show bird and enter it in some contests. I already own a copy of "The Standard of Perfection", which is the bible for selecting, breeding and judging prize-winning poultry. "Your Chickens: A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing" also seems like a tome that would be chock-full of invaluable tips.

And for any neighbors (or wife) that may be nervously reading this and fearing that a loudly crowing rooster will soon be shattering the tranquility of our 'hood, take heart: one does not need a rooster to produce eggs! Hens produce eggs in response to day light patterns. In other words, the eggs we buy in the store are not fertilized (meaning they don’t hatch), because a rooster did not "make love" to the hen. Most hens that lay grocery store eggs have never seen a rooster, and an unfertilized egg will not grow into a chicken, no matter how long you sit on it and care for it.

Chickens are interesting to me because unlike other animals, there is absolutely no glimmer of intelligence in their eyes. You can look at dog or a cat, or a gorilla, or an elephant, and divine some sort of reasoning going on therein, however rudimentary. No suck luck with chickens. They are just dumb. Moronic, even. I think even frogs are smarter. It's impossible to even get a chicken to look at you and recognize that you exist (I've tried). They just snap their heads around, cluck, screech, flap, and peck. The perfect pet! I've read that they grow more attached to an owner over time, though it's most likely just a basic response to recognizing a food source. I guess we'll see.

More on this as it develops.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Famous last words

"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
-Francisco ("Pancho") Villa

"Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies."
-Voltaire, when asked by a priest to renounce Satan on his deathbed

"I have a terrific headache."
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage

"Don't disturb my circles!"

"Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius. Will you remember to pay the debt?"

"My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go."
-Oscar Wilde

Choose wisely

Some interesting figures I recently happened upon:

Estimated cost of raising one child and putting them through college: $297,000.00

Estimated cost of maintaining a chimpanzee in captivity for 60 years: $300,000.00

That's pretty close, dollar-wise. To make a decision as whether or not to get a chimp or have a child, you'd have to consider other factors. Pros and cons, if you will. Both look adorable in striped shirts and suspenders. Both can learn to ride a tricycle. And both can do a rudimentary imitation of applause. But only the chimp can successfully execute a backflip. Then again, the odds are good that the chimp will attempt to tear your balls off when it reaches a certain age in order to assume the dominant place in your famial heirarchy.

A head-to-head comparison of a baby chimpanzee and an actual human baby.
The chimp is obviously much cuter.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the above child / college estimate is just that: an estimate. It's based on the most updated college costs projections I could find, which are for the year 2020. If you had a child now, he/she would not be entering their first year of college until 2024, at which point first year tuition would probably be another 28% higher, and the same goes for the subsequent 3 years.

A chimp on the other hand, can make you money. That's right. You can charge people to come look at it, or you could rent it out to a monkey wrangler who could get roles in commercials, movies or TV shows. And the cost of carrots and Monkey Chow will certainly remain more stable than always-escalating college costs.

There you go. You have the information. What you do with it is entirely up to you.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Superhero birthday party

It's Professor X's birthday, so what do you do to mark the occasion?
Simple: crank the tunes and call the Sub-Mariner, Thor, Hulk and the boys over for some brewskis and some innocent man-on-man pool wrestling.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Who is "The Little Superstar"?

We know this much: he dances, he smokes, and he slaps people around. But many questions are still unanswered. Is he a rhythmically-gifted young boy? A skinny midget? Does he work for the lazy moustachied man with the boom box, or is that his father? And what kind of frickin' weird movies are they making over there in Bollywood anyway? See for yourselves if you dare, and attempt to divine the answers if you can!

See The Little Superstar get his groove on!

I love that the mom shows up at the end and shoes everyone away. "Urchins! Quit pestering you father with ths infernal breakdancing! Can't you see that he is exhausted from working at his recently-outsourced-from-United States-job?"

See The Little Superstar climb and slap a much larger man!

Blogfoot's Halloween Kostume Korner

All Hallow's Eve is just around the corner, kids. And I imagine many of you are going to wait until the last minute before running to Party City and plunking down $10 on a "70's Dude Afro Wig" that is only worthy of scorn and mockery (or the female version, which is to go as a "Sexy _____." The ______ meaning "take your cat, sexy maid, sexy pirate"...). But here at Blogfoot we care about your Halloween street cred, and thus, we will be posting suggestions for the unimaginative among you, leading up to the big day a mere month or so from now.

To this end, we present our first entry: Bigfoot! That's right,
true believers. For a mere $995 and another $40 for shipping, this strange, surely overwhelmingly hot costume can be yours via ebay. Click here to buy it now, then prowl the steets of your town, sweating profusely while causing mouths to gape and flashbulbs to pop.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I dig this photo

It's like a vagrant hobo-dog or something. The pooch seems to have fallen on hard times, and yet is there not a spark of hope in its eyes? Perhaps it hath spied a dropped morsel, mayhap a wayward chunk of sandwich or a misplaced glob of ice cream, which has caused her to recall the good old days and be flooded with an invigorating if all-too-fleeting sense of purpose?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I have seen the future...

...and it looks like this.

I can't wait! Sure, irradiated mutants are a pain in the ass, and food and fuel will be so scarce
that they will worth more than human life, but I'll get to fly around in a jetpack and my chimp and I will wear matching poly/cotton blend wash-and-wear multi-colored jumpsuits. It's gonna be great.

The above is actually a promotional still from a live-action Saturday morning TV show that aired from 1976-79 called "Ark II." It had a ham-fisted ecological bent, and concerned the crew of a cigar-shaped souped-up winnebago called the Ark II, and how they traveled over a post-apocalyptic landscape looking for plant life, human survivors and promoting peace and whatever. It was heavy on the morals and sadly light on special effects, an unfortunate hallmark of Filmation, the company that also produced "Shazam" (which also featured a tricked-out winnebago in a prominent role) and "Isis" from the same era. However, there were jetpacks and a talking chimp named Adam, which is all my 9 year-old self required. Hell, it's about all my 38 year-old self requires.

Adam the talking chimp smiles for the cameras

As a special blogfoot bonus, here are the opening credits for the show. It'll prime your pump for the DVD release in November.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The once and future Howard Dean

If you are convinced that the youth of our country is apathetic towards the political process, this will prove you wrong. It's a video of a co-worker's nephew watching Howard Dean's famously maniacal "Yeahh!" speech from the Democratic primary a couple of years ago. Enjoy.

Thanks to Melissa M. for the clip.

Grab your bows, it's Who season

Here's something for the young and young-at-heart who likes to hunt, kill and display: stuffed and mounted Dr. Seuss creatures. I can only assume that the gun used to take these animals down is really long with a trombone-type barrel at the end that literally spits out a giant round cannonball-type bullet. These animals are probably delicious, too.
In fact, I bet they taste like cotton candy.

I for one am glad to see someone wrest the legacy of Dr. Seuss away from the grimy neo-hippies who wear those tall, striped "Cat in the Hat" hats to Phish concerts and dance all weird while feeding their ferrets peyote buttons. Children should learn at an early age that even pretend animals are several notches below man on the rightful food chain. Did I mention that Sea Monkey packets sprinkled on popcorn is delicious? It's like brewer's yeast, but better.

You can see more of these whimsical, den-worthy creatures here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

"The Wire" is just too good

Season 4 of HBO's "The Wire" has just begun (episode 2 aired last night), and I must say that this show continues to rock my bleak world. The writing is just so strong and although it may irritate some people, I love that it disdains clumsy exposition and demands that the viewer pay attention. It juggles multiple lead and supporting characters, and conveys their voices, better than many if not most books. I shit you not.

On the surface you could say that it's a cop show....police trying to catch drug dealers. But that's really just the setting is uses to depict the modern American city as an institution, and show how it grinds down individuals of all stripes with the false promise of equal opportunity or forced compromise, that good people are capable of doing bad things and bad people are capable of doing good things, and how and why the worst aspects of business, politics, the economy and education are entrenched and resistant to positive change. It sounds depressing, but there is humanity and humor therein. It's really, really good.

The first 3 seasons are on DVD, so you can Netflix them or rent them. And you most certainly should. They are all excellent, and represent some of the best television ever filmed, in my humble opinion. This will be the last of my TV recommendations for a while, but I figure if you're going to watch something, you might as well watch something good.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"And with the first pick of the 2007 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select..."

These are the words that Packer fans will be waiting on with bated breath next April. And that's because the 2006 Green Bay Packers stink so bad that they will be picking first in the draft next year, as the worst team in the league is wont to do.

Writing these words does not make me happy. I love The Pack. But they have little to no talent on both sides of the ball and a rookie coach who makes Stanley Kowalski look like Keirkegaard. It's going to be a long season, and my wife and dogs should prepare themselves for plenty of yelling.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New "Galactica" webisodes now online

The new season of "Battlestar Galactica" starts on Friday October 6th, but to whet our appetites the SciFi channel is posting all-new webisodes every Tuesday and Thursday that depict the Cylon occupation of New Caprica and bridge last season to the new one. There will be 10 webisodes in all, collectively titled "The Resistance."

If you don't watch this show, you should. It's cool. Well written, well acted, and not what you'd expect if you've only seen the original lame 70's version (my wife is going to stab me with a scissors for saying that). No lasers, either. Bullets and nukes, dude. Bullets and nukes. It's a "re-imaging" rather than a remake, with an approach that creator / executive producer Ron Moore calls "naturalistic science fiction." It's shot with handheld cameras, there are no no bug-eyed monsters, the sets look functional and appropriately military, etc. And it's not just geeks like me (ie; the people who know what's up) who dig it: TIME magazine declared it best show on TV, the American Film Institute named the show to its list of the ten best shows on television, and other mainstream publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone magazine, and Newsday also named the series one of the best on television for 2005. And in 2006, the series won a prestigious Peabody Award in recognition of its creative excellence.

Check out the webisodes here. And rent the other 2.5 seasons from Netflix. And watch / TiVo the new season. Do it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

You make me feel like a natural Hutt

As in "Jabba the."

Poor Aretha. I believe this photo of Ms. Franklin is un-doctored , but if any eagle-eyed readers detect some Industrial Light & Magic level of photoshop trickery, lemme know.