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Sing!

Even if you don't know Joe Raposo's name, you probably have heard his music. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Joe was the main composer of songs and incidental music for the children's television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. In this role, he wrote some of today's standards while also imprinting his musical stylings on the consciousness of a generation of children worldwide. In the second half of this post, you will find a curation of youtube-links leading to a good chunk of Joe Raposo's oeuvre -- all gems, mostly under two minutes each. Sing along if you know the words! [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Sep 30, 2009 - 43 comments

"So you go home at night, like me, smarter than you were when you woke up in the morning."

Andy Richter destroys Wolf Blitzer in Celebrity Jeopardy (twice, if you count the rehearsal show). Of course, Richter is no stranger to the game.
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 17, 2009 - 78 comments

Persuasion: Why men in ads are dumb, goofy or completely inept

Persuasion: Why men in ads are dumb, goofy or completely inept. Several YT commercials and a thoughtful essay.
posted by five fresh fish on Aug 7, 2009 - 147 comments

There's something bigger than Phil....

The 1961 interview begins, "About four days ago, a plane landed at Idyllewild airport. The plane came from the Middle East bearing a man who claims to be 2000 years old. He's spent the last six days at the Mayo Clinic." The interviewer then goes on to pick the brain of the world's oldest man. [part 2, part 3, animated in 1975] This is considered by many to be one of the funniest comedy routines of all time -- Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks performing The 2000 Year Old Man. [ A 1961 TV clip of 2KYOMAnotherSimilar, only it's an accountant instead of an old manOrigins of the words "cheese" and "egg"Interview with Reiner & Brooks, late 1990's; Part 2Similar, only with Charlie Rose as the interviewer ]
posted by not_on_display on May 7, 2009 - 16 comments

Classic Animation Remixed

While Adult Swim is generally regarded as the pioneer of irreverent short-form animation -- especially for 'toons that reimagine past hits -- it wasn't always the king. In fact, the late-night programming block arguably found its birth in a series of short toons and interstitials that ran in the heyday of its daytime alter ego, the venerable Cartoon Network. The brainchild of C.N. Creative Director Michael Ouweleen and Hanna-Barbera chief Fred Seibert, these cartoons reinterpreted the network's properties through stock footage, indie music, and original animation in a wide variety of styles, as well as introducing prototypes of characters that would become some of the most famous in the history of American animation. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 30, 2008 - 80 comments

A BetaMaXmas

80s era holiday television complete with antenna, TV guide, and remote.
posted by Korou on Dec 8, 2008 - 22 comments

Matinee with Bob and Ray

"Wally Ballou here, reporting for the Matinob with Ray and Bob from the World Wide Internets..." Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding are better known as Bob and Ray. Spending over four decades on the radio, television, print, and Broadway, beginning in Boston in 1946, they pioneered absurdist, satirical, dry, improvisational sketch comedy, influencing a legion of future comics (and others). The duo was inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame in 1984. They last appeared on the radio in NPR's "The Bob and Ray Public Radio Show" from 1982-1987. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Nov 17, 2008 - 27 comments

Not suitable for children, or those of you who may have a nervous disposition

The Kneale Tapes (1, 2, 3, 4) documentary about British science fiction screenwriter Nigel Kneale. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 16, 2008 - 8 comments

Get Down Shep!

50 Years of Blue Peter. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 16, 2008 - 17 comments

An Important Angry Work Of Art

Charlie Brooker - Tapping The Wire (1, 2, 3).
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 8, 2008 - 69 comments

Flippin' 'Eck, Tucker!

After 30 years, the final bell has rung and it's home time for Grange Hill... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 18, 2008 - 29 comments

I Am The King Of Meta

WireFilter: David Simon speaks at USC Law on journalism and The Wire. (Youtube - 1:22:50; a few mic/sound problems in the first few minutes)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 12, 2008 - 16 comments

'And Now For Those All-Important DNA Test Results...!'

When reality bites, it leaves deep scars... behind the scenes of The Jeremy Kyle Show. 'One-Night Stand On CCTV!' 1, 2, 3 - the episode mentioned in the article. Brooker on Kyle. Dead Ringers sketch.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 9, 2008 - 14 comments

"Every idea I ever had is based on the fact that it's 2:30 and there's a production meeting at 3:00."

In the introduction to his close friend's "Best of" DVD, Jack Lemmon says, "Ernie Kovacs was the funniest, wildest, zaniest man I ever knew. Ernie thought so, too, and so did millions of happy people. Ernie was all over television on one network or another from 1950 until he died in 1962. He had an unpredictable and illogical view of the world. He played with the medium of television in a way no one ever had before. And he created a batch of cockeyed characters that have become classics. So, slow down your internal clock; it was a more leisurely time, you know. Here's Ernie Kovacs." [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Jul 15, 2008 - 16 comments

'Danger Of Death'

In Bed With Chris Needham (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) A BBC video-diary documentary from 1991 depicting the trails and tribulations of a teenage metal fan as he tries to knock his band, Manslaughter, into shape for its first gig, with many digressions into his philosophy of life along the way. Some NSFW swearing. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 8, 2008 - 12 comments

“I hear voices from another star.”

A Day In The Afterlife of Philip K Dick - An Arena documentary first broadcast by the BBC in 1994 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 6, 2008 - 31 comments

That's entertainment

The Black and White Minstrel Show was a (very cheesy) British variety series that ran Saturday nights on the BBC for twenty years. Hard to believe that it was still on the air as late as 1978. A live show, "Memories of the Minstrels ," toured the UK to packed houses in 2004 and 2005. The show was performed white-faced and featured the stars, medley's and costumes from the original TV series. Previously. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Jun 4, 2008 - 43 comments

Survivors reborn

First it was Blake's 7, now another Terry Nation cult classic sf television programme is to return. The BBC have announced they are remaking Survivors. Telling the story of the survivors of a plague that wipes out most of Britain, the original was famed for its gritty and somewhat controversial story-telling.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 3, 2008 - 20 comments

"It's constituency was the drunk, unemployed insomniac, student, loners that understood my passion for the minutia of television."

The classic post-pub television program of the nineties, In Bed With Medinner had a simple format - Bob Mills would present and comment on clips from the many documentaries he had made over the years. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 21, 2008 - 11 comments

Presented In Supermarionation!

From The Adventures of Twizzle to the reboot of Captain Scarlet - for nearly fifty years - Gerry Anderson made television shows, but is still best remembered for the classic 'Supermarionation' period were, as this documentary shows (1, 2, 3, 4) he really was making the 21st century. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 9, 2008 - 17 comments

"The Definitive British Space Opera... i.e. Bloody Miserable"

Blake's Back! British science fiction classic Blakes 7 is getting the Battlestar Galactica treatment. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 25, 2008 - 45 comments

Mum And Dad Are Getting Ready For The Party...

Growing up in 70s and 80s Britain you were exposed to some rather disturbing Public Information Films on the television. But that was nothing... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 7, 2008 - 33 comments

Too Much Sunshine Will Make Him Explode.

I'm baffled why these science fiction tv pilots never made it to series... especially Leonard Nimoy's Baffled!.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 6, 2008 - 30 comments

Commie Kids Telly

One rather strange minor cultural phenomena you experienced as a kid growing up in 60s and 70s Britain was a number of television programs that originated from beyond the Iron Curtain. Most infamous was the downright scary The Singing Ringing Tree from East Germany (Radio4 doc), later spoofed by the Fast Show but there were several others... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 13, 2008 - 25 comments

The Final Frontier

Star Trek orgasms (nsfw). Bonus: Kirk, ultimate ladies man.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 31, 2008 - 30 comments

We Now Conclude Our Broadcast Day

2007 has come to a close and so we now conclude our broadcast day. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Dec 31, 2007 - 31 comments

Take your forms wrestled from the void and get the hell out

Wayne White's paintings [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Dec 20, 2007 - 19 comments

There I stand 'neath the Marquee Moon just waiting, hesitating... I ain't waiting

Punk Guitar Heroes - Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd Television, and its guitar pas de deux between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, fit into the punk scene only because they are the ones basically responsible for CBGB becoming a punk rock club. Verlaine convinced Hilly Kristal to let them practice there and play shows, and the rest is history. [more inside]
posted by psmealey on Dec 17, 2007 - 32 comments

Laughs Tracks Being Used For Good, Not Evil

Laugh tracks making things funny: Friday the 13th | The L Word | Mitt Romney | Star Trek | The Wire | FOX News
posted by dhammond on Dec 16, 2007 - 27 comments

Delectable damsels scattered all over the place

"Hello, and welcome to Mainly For Men (part 1, part 2). And, as the title implies, this is a programme, fellas, just for you." Yes, everything the BBC thought the red-blooded male back in the late 1960s would be interested in (ie women, cars and shark fishing). The result was so hideous it was never broadcast until a TV Hell themed night many years later. Possibly NSFW... some brief nudity ('artistic', naturally) and mild swearing. And rampant mind-blowing sexism.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 29, 2007 - 85 comments

Go Go Mania!

The year 1964 was a watershed period in British music. Before that year, British popular music was barely heard outside of the U.K. But when the Beatles achieved American success, a seemingly endless number of British bands and singers were suddenly able to crack the American market.

By the end of 1964, some enterprising filmmakers decided to create a cinematic year-in-review to highlight this new wave of British music talent. The result was “Pop Gear,” a strange but jolly little production that serves as a celluloid time capsule for that remarkable musical year.
The features opens with footage from a November, 1963 Beatles concert in Manchester - She Loves You [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Oct 28, 2007 - 24 comments

Master of the TV Theme Tune

Ronnie Hazlehurst RIP. Who? Well if you've seen any of the BBC's sitcoms and light entertainment programmes from the 70s onwards, you would have probably heard his work... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 3, 2007 - 16 comments

Heroes Worship

So, it seems like (almost) everyone is watching Heroes. But if you want more, Heroes doesn't have to just a hour of screen time a week. The weekly 'graphic novels' offer backstory [PDF] to familiar faces, fill in plot holes [PDF] and introduce* [PDF*] new characters, they've even continued during the haitus. But Heroes' impressive online presence encompasses more than just comics... Spoilers for S1 throughout, mild spoilers for S2 (casting, new characters, some plot), I've asterisked the most spoilery. [more inside]
posted by featherboa on Sep 24, 2007 - 69 comments

Sunday Night with Jools Holland and David Sanborn

Sunday Night, later named Michelob Presents Night Music, was an NBC late-night television show hosted by Jools Holland and David Sanborn which aired for two seasons between 1988 and 1990 as a showcase for jazz and eclectic musical artists. [YouTubeFilter, via] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Sep 16, 2007 - 32 comments

In The Night Garden

In The Night Garden [Danger - lots of Flash and YouTube] is your new favourite TV show (if you're under 4). Meet Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy, The Pontipines, The Tombliboos, The Haahoos, The Ninky Nonk and The Pinky Ponk. Brought to you by the creators (previously) of the Teletubbies. Wikipedia link for the confused. Oh, and the great Sir Derek Jacobi narrates. [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur on Sep 10, 2007 - 19 comments

James Burke on the tubes

James Burke does Youtube. A very conscientious fan has begun creating a wonderful collection of two of James Burke's shows on youtube. There are many episodes up and more to come of both Connections and The Day The Universe Changed. Catch them while you can.
posted by YoBananaBoy on Jun 11, 2007 - 45 comments

"When I die, it's going to read, 'Game Show Fixture Passes Away'"

Charles Nelson Reilly (1931-2007) If, in 1940, you had a lobotomized aunt, an institutionalized father, a racist mother, and were the only gay kid on the block, what do you think the odds would be that you'd end up a Tony winner, a staple of television, and a generational icon? (contains YouTube links)
posted by LinusMines on May 27, 2007 - 90 comments

TV in Japan

TV in Japan. A hyper representation of what airs, or has aired on Japanese TV. Ranging from action packed to truly awesome (and from monkeys to ninjas), set your eyes to "dazzled" and brain to "frazzled".
posted by myopicman on Apr 13, 2007 - 7 comments

No means maybe

Three Strikes is a TV pilot from the writers of Frasier, Larry Sanders and King of the Hill and executive produced by Jon Stewart for Comedy Central. It was turned down by the network but like Nobody's Watching the makers have turned to YouTube to revive its chances [Parts 1, 2, 3]. [via TVtattle]
posted by meech on Mar 27, 2007 - 24 comments

Pathetic little fat man, noones bloody laughing

"See his pug-nose face." David Bowie, from Extras second season, which premieres tomorrow in USA. Stephen Merchant (from today's RADAR) and Ricky Gervais have been mentioned here before, but I think the David Bowie clip is worth it.
posted by headless on Jan 13, 2007 - 35 comments

From the Critically Acclaimed Fans of Scrubs and Arrested Development

Make an independent sitcom? These guys did. On a shoestring budget, a collection of very funny folk have created a 22-minute-long pilot episode of Break a Leg. Heavily influenced by Arrested Development, I found it funnier than most sitcoms I see on TV. The next episode is apparently a few months away.
posted by Wataki on Dec 1, 2006 - 35 comments

Toob to Beeb

"I feel guilty because I have friends that are working really hard to get into television or acting and I'm just sitting here having not done anything more than enjoy playing with gadgets."

Susi Weaser (24) makes little one-minute gadget reviews and posts them on YouTube . The BBC must have liked them - because they hired her.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 18, 2006 - 18 comments

To Boldly Redo What Some Man Had Done Before

In 2003, Paramount proposed redoing the special effects for the original "Star Trek" series and rereleasing the episodes as "Star Trek Enhanced". Two CGI firms redid the effects for the teaser, the opening credits and title, and the first two acts of The Doomsday Machine as a proof-of-concept with no changes to the acting or the story. Paramount ultimately decided not to pursue the project, but it's interesting to see how two different CGI firms handled the transporter, phasers, and starship effects.
posted by fandango_matt on Jun 23, 2006 - 74 comments

... which is to say to my mind, there is continuous repetition and propotionally they are a bit boring.

On May 14th, 1967, the new British pop group The Pink Floyd makes one of their first ever TV appearances. Despite a stellar performance of the song Astronomy Domine, the pretentious host of the show, Hans Keller, has nothing good to say about the band. During the interview (youtube, performance comes first, interview starts about 5:50 in. transcript here.), he chastises the band for their "continuous repetition", "terribly loud" volume, and their "proportionately a bit boring" sound.

However, it seems that all Hans' show will ever be remembered for is this single interview. Pink Floyd, on the other hand.. Well, we all know what happened to them. Syd Barrett, on the other hand, was not so lucky.
posted by Afroblanco on May 29, 2006 - 67 comments

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