Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rescued From Obscurity:
"Can't Wait One Minute More" by CIV

Trashy talk shows were sort of the reality shows of the 1990's, in that they were ubiquitous and everyone and their mother bitched about how awful and staged they were and how stupid the whole phenomenon was, and yet...they were inexplicably popular.

The low point came sometime mid-decade, when some asshole TV producer--undoubtedly in the middle of a serious drug bender--dropped his crack pipe, slapped his forehead, and said "Hey, I know! Let's give EVERYONE a talk show!" Then he looked down at the intern he was riding and said, "Hey you, get me the phone numbers of every C-list actor who ever cut a fart on primetime TV. Start with Vanessa from Cosby, that red-headed sex offender from The Partridge Family, the chick who played the 40-year-old teenager on 90210, and just keep going from there. Damn, this is genius!"

Anyhoo, in 1995 (around the height of the talk show boom) NYC hardcore punk band CIV had a very minor hit with "Can't Wait One Minute More." It's a fun song, and the video is a great satire of the talk show format, with lead singer Anthony Civarelli playing the snarky "host," hopping through the audience members as they jeer at the parade of talk show guest staples: the requisite teen gang bangers, the gay love triangle, the trailer park couple, the male strippers, and even some Elvis impersonators.

Besides the CIV video, there was one other good thing that came out of the '90s crap talk show zeitgeist, and that was Night Stand with Dick Dietrick, a little-known talk show parody that aired at some absurd time like 2:00 am on Monday mornings and is probably only remembered by insomniacs like me. Dick Dietrick (played by comedian Timothy Stack) was a clueless Alan Partridge-type host who was forever shit-talking his "rival," Jerry Springer. Night Stand nailed every one of the sleazy talk show stereotypes: the faux-sympathetic host, the homophobic audience members, the delusional guests, the hilariously lurid topics (I remember one episode titled "Homicide in a Double Wide"). It was awesome.

Thank God for YouTube, ya know?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Definitely SFW

My new favorite site is This Is Not Porn. True to the name, it's not porn; it's a huge collection of candid snapshots of stars on movie sets, at parties, backstage at concerts, hanging out at home, etc. Even cooler, TINP is searchable and covers a wide range of people and eras. You can see stuff like Rita Hayworth goofing off with Orson Welles in the '40s, River Phoenix eating a soy omelet with his brother in the '80s, shots of Freddie Mercury cuddling with his many cats in the '70s and much much more. A sampling of the awesomeness available:

Skatetown, USA!
A candid shot from the set of Skatetown USA, a 1979 roller disco flick that I can't believe I've never seen, given my obsession with cheesy cinema. I mean seriously, look at that cast! I spy Johnny Castle, Chachi, Marcia Brady, Arnold Horshack and crap teen movie hunk Greg Bradford. With all due respect to Patrick Swayze, that is an absolute B-movie dream team if I've ever seen one.

Unsurprisingly, there was a fair bit of good old fashioned '70s debauchery going on behind the scenes of this flick. Years later, Maureen McCormick confirmed in an interview that she was driving that train, high on cocaine during the entire shoot (as was pretty much everyone else involved). That little bit of trivia makes me grateful that cell phone cameras, internets and TMZ weren't around back then, because photos of Marcia Brady bent over a table doing rails of coke would have killed my entire childhood.  

Harrison on Hanover

Speaking of B-movies, here is a shot of Harrison Ford on the set of Hanover Street, a little known screen gem that I unashamedly adore. Set in England during WWII, Harrison plays an American pilot who has a torrid affair with a married English nurse played by Lesley Anne Down. Basically, it's a movie-length Harlequin romance novel complete with cringe-worthy dialogue and modest, PG-rated love scenes. I first came across this flick on cable when I was in middle school, and of course I thought it was the most romantic story in the history of ever. I should mention that my discovery of Hanover Street coincided with a massive pre-pubescent crush on Harrison Ford, along with the realization that I kinda dug men in uniform. Seriously, I need to hunt down this movie again. 

Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. 

These two! You gotta admit, they made a seriously adorable couple. I am loving SJP's bracelets and curls and RDJ's fly threads and Elvis Costello specs. If the 1980's were a prom, I'd crown them King and Queen. And then they could have their slow dance to "Save A Prayer," because it isn't the '80s without Duran Duran. 

Matthew Broderick and Jon Cryer

Speaking of cute, here's Ferris Bueller and Duckie Dale in 1986, looking straight out of the pages of Teen Beat magazine. It's really too bad that the younger generation only knows Jon Cryer as the nebbish-y dork from Two and a Half Men, especially considering how dreamy he used to be. Yes kids, once upon a time, the Duckman had it goin' on. 

The Outsiders set, Tulsa, 1982

Because of my ties to Tulsa and S.E. Hinton and the novel, I have a deep love for The Outsiders. The southside socs, the northside greasers, Robert Frost, "Stay Gold," this amazing cast, just everything. Trivia: two of my Tulsa relatives were background extras in the drive-in scene.  

Seriously, check out This is not porn. It is pure awesome.