Michael Jackson and Alfonso Ribiero

September 22, 2011

Remember The Fresh Prince’s cousin Carlton Banks? Little Alfonso Ribiero was a badass moonwalker.

Gilda Radner story

January 17, 2011

I don’t know if this story is true, but it was just posted on this blog as a comment on that Gilda Radner / Steve Martin dance duet I posted a couple months ago, and it’s kinda sweet.

Here I am on MLK Day 2011 remembering Gilda. It was a Friday in 1978, and at 26 I had just finished the drive from Los Angeles to NYC. The goal was to be in the audience for SNL the next day.

I walked from the Americana Hotel to a deserted Rockefeller Center, arriving about 11pm. I hadn’t slept in the previous 36 hours. The guard under the NBC marquee let me know if I wanted tickets to be in line by 6am Saturday morning. Dismayed that might not happen due to my extreme fatigue, I walked over to the solitude of the taxi stand for a ride back to the hotel.

Suddenly Gilda appeared like an angel, full of energy, and stood close beside me. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a joint, asking her if she would like to get high. She grabbed it, and we vanished into the night in the back of that cab smoking, telling stories, and having a good old time. When we parted in front of the Americana about 6am after bar-hoping (including Woody Allen playing sax) she handed me her last pass for the evening’s performance, hosted by Steve Martin and including the wonderful “Dancing in the Dark.”

I have never been the same since. I imagine you are with Lucile Ball performing comedy skits in heaven. God bless you Gilda, and thank you again for a wonderful time. You left us way too soon.

Thanks, “enkidu”.

Bad Request

December 16, 2010

I tried to look at a photo on Facebook today and this message came up.

Facebook error message that says Bad Request. The server found your request confusing and isn't sure how to proceed.

The photo was of someone I had a crush on when I was 17, which makes me feel bad for the poor, confused Facebook server. Like maybe my teenage crush is now in an unstable relationship with this Facebook server and she’s super jealous and insecure. I wish I could reassure her.

What I’ve been looking at

November 16, 2010

Some pics that caught my eye online this week:

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Gilda Radner and Steve Martin: Dancing in the Dark

November 11, 2010

Here’s a fantastic, classic SNL sketch; Gilda Radner and Steve Martin’s Dancing in the Dark.

So many things to love here. First of all, they can both really dance, and it’s equally fun to be impressed at their grace as to laugh at their silliness. And it’s so great to see a silent sketch like this. So much sketch comedy devolves into talking heads; it’s fun to see physicality. It’s beautifully-rehearsed and precise. And the punchline at the end is so satisfying.

I always forget that Gilda Radner died so young- she should totally still be alive and guest-starring on TV shows; what a sad loss.

Here, go watch this for three gorgeous minutes.
Thanks to Ali Eisner for facebooking this!

Rua Sésamo

November 4, 2010

Here are Portuguese muppets Egas e Becas, with that old Sesame classic,
“Oooooo…. peixe, peixe, peixe, peixe!”

Here’s another classic, pretty easy to understand:

Obrigada to Helder for the tip!

Hallowe’en Raisins and Pennies

October 27, 2010

Thanks to Peneycad for that link, which triggered this memory:

When I was a kid, this one house on my street gave out the best Hallowe’en candy I’d ever had. They were these little fruity things with a really intense flavour, and to this day, I’ve never seen them anywhere except at that house.

This one year- I think I was about nine- I vividly remember walking up their driveway, really excited to get more of those candies. I arrived at their door at the same time as a couple of younger kids and eagerly awaited the fruity handful I knew was in store. I rang the bell, mouth already watering in anticipation.

The mom of the house came to the door and complimented all our costumes. I thanked her distractedly, craning my neck to see past her into the hallway, where I spied my grail- a big basket of The Best Candy Evarr. I couldn’t wait.

The mom picked up the basket of candy, but, oddly, she also grabbed a big tin can. She held them both in front of her, and said, “OK kids, you have a choice.” At this point she held the can in such a way as to reveal its contents, roughly nine million dollars in pennies. “You can have either a handful of candy, or a handful of pennies for your Unicef box.”

Ha! Little did she know, I’d already decided to donate the entire contents of my own piggy bank at home, and top it off with coins filched from my parents’ change jar. I was determined to Robin Hood myself to school the next day with a stuffed-solid Unicef box, impressing all my friends with its bulging cardboard heft. Her can of pennies was irrelevant to me, little philanthropist that I was, so before she’d even finished the question, I had blurted I CHOOSE THE CANDY PLEASE and reached my grubby little paws for the basket.

The mom was so taken aback that, I swear, her head actually retracted into her neck and vanished, like when you poke a sea anemone.

In a dim part of my brain I realized I’d committed a faux pas, but in a much more sugar-starved and hyperactive quadrant of my tiny skull, all I could focus on was the fact that my hands were Almost Touching Candy, which meant that nothing else in the cosmos mattered at all.

And I didn’t take just one or two candies, no. Oh no, I pretty much dove headfirst into the candy bowl and emerged with a heaping double fistful of sweet fruity goodness, pretty much salivating from my entire head. The other kids’ parents shook their heads at the life-failure I was sure to become, and my own mom looked on from the garden path, no doubt wondering how she’d managed to raise a glutton who’d basically eat a Unicef box, seasoned with any last vestige of manners, in her relentless pursuit of sugar.

Then there was a long, awkward pause. During which time I may actually have unwrapped and eaten one of the magic candies. Oops.

Eventually, the neighbour mom’s head reappeared from her inverted neck, making a small, sucking sound of disapproval. She blinked to clear her thoughts, then turned to the other kids to ask, “Well, which would YOU prefer, the candy or the pennies?” It was barely a question; her tone made it very clear which option they were meant to pick, and, predictably, one by one, the mealy little twerps all chose the pennies and dutifully took their tiny fistfuls of coppery Not-Candy. Obviously none of them knew what they were missing.

You might think the moral of this story is that the candy didn’t taste as sweet because it was tinged with humiliation. You’d be wrong about that. I’m here to tell you that humiliation makes junk food taste all the sweeter, which is why I pretty much have to eat six Flakies for every line I flub in an audition. Lesson not learned, you guys.


David Crowder Band – Shine

October 19, 2010

Aw man, I was thinking about my old Lite-Brite just the other day. It’s still in my parents’ basement somewhere, no doubt buried under some Star Wars action figures and a My Little Pony. That warm glow is really gorgeous on video. I can’t say enough how much I love this kind of elaborately-executed low-tech art. It takes so much craft and so little money; it’s a beautiful thing. And check out the piano in the background- it’s playing!
Thanks to Peneycad for the tip.

The monster your man could smell like

October 12, 2010

Remember this?

Well, now there’s this.

Grover still makes me laugh like a little kid.
Thanks to Peneycad for the tip.

Photo tour of NYC’s James A. Farley Post Office

October 9, 2010

This is the big post office at at 33rd Street & 8th Ave, near Penn Station, the one with the cool motto carved right into the stone: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

A NYC film location scout took a tour and posted this great photo essay; lots of interesting retro details from the inside of this huge landmark.
Via MeFi.