Friday, June 08, 2018

We've Been On A Hiatus. . .


Monsieur Blogmester a.k.a. Paul F. Etcheverry in his natural habitat, which could also be a curry joint in San Francisco.


Yes, we've been on hiatus. Unfortunately, this hiatus has not been spent eating bagels in front of Russ & Daughters in New York City while Madame Blogmeister is inside, selecting a bounty of smoked salmon and other astonishing food to bring back to the ol' homestead in Ulster.

This blogger has been out of action largely due to a sick computer. The "old reliable" MacBook Pro, due to a security vulnerability in the High Sierra system, is now a "hacked Mac," out of action and currently sporting a firmware lock. If only Mountain Lion - or a new operating system named Pete Puma - could be brought back to devour the rogue code. . .



Lots has happened since our last post. On the positive side, a computer on the 21 day disabled list makes it easier to avoid the putrid, fetid, tribal, tres toxic cesspool that is social media, and the epic San Francisco Silent Film Festival presented serious big screen glory last weekend at the Castro Theatre to close out May with style.



Alas, missed the festival entirely in 2017 and 2018, after a few years of, due to a lengthy illness in the family, just catching a handful of the programs. This year's "it costs too much to go" call turned out to be quite the mistake, as the dean of silent film history and preservation, filmmaker/author/scholar Kevin Brownlow, was the festival's special guest and celebrated his 80th birthday there. Oh well. . . hope to make it to the 2019 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Until then, we'll watch our Charlie Chaplin Blu-rays, Undercrank Productions DVDs and Cartoon Roots compilations curated by silent animation expert Tommy Jose Stathes. . .

Also pleased that the mighty Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are yet again in the NBA Finals and the one, the only Madison Bumgarner a.k.a. The Sheriff recovered from a broken pinky to pitch for the San Francisco Giants.

While our cats Yogi and Raymond fight in the background, we await the date of the next (and as of yet unannounced) KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival at Foothill College. We look forward to schlepping boxes bursting with 16mm film reels to yet another rilly big shoe!



The scuttlebutt is that the next KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival at Foothill will transpire either on the last Saturday of July or the first Saturday in August. Robert Emmett will make an official announcement on KFJC's Saturday morning Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show. Before this show, my co-programmers/curators Sci Fi Bob Ekman and Scott Moon shall present a mini-Psychotronix program to celebrate the re-opening of the New Rheem Theatre in Moraga on June 30.

On the extremely negative side, three tragic and untimely passings have saddened us here at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog.

The rotten news: chef and TV host turned writer and documentary filmmaker Anthony Bourdain, San Francisco 49er receiver Dwight Clark, of "the catch" fame, and guitar genius Phil Emmanuel have passed.

The Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown programs top the very short list of this blogmeister's favorite TV shows - no, that would be his only favorite current show - while Madame Blogmeister has several of Bourdain's enjoyable, lively and well-written books in hardcover. He would no doubt scoff and give both a dirty look and a middle finger salute to anyone suggesting his death is a blow to the forces of cultural, literary and cinematic literacy - and yes, that's a cultural literacy that includes Iggy Pop & The Stooges, The Bad Brains, James White & The Blacks, Lou Reed's band featuring guitarist Robert Quine and Richard Hell & The Voidoids - but that's how it feels.

It appears Mr. Bourdain's passing was a direct result of more than a few close encounters with Ol' Man Depression too many. We can only hope for the best for the surviving family members of Mr. Bourdain, as well as those of the recently passed fashion designer Kate Spade. They are on the receiving end of a most rotten deal. Ol' Man Depression is a killer and a destroyer of families.

San Francisco Bay Area sports legend Dwight Clark, a much-loved, bonhomie-filled and by all accounts devastatingly funny fellow, passed after a lengthy battle with ALS. One positive has been the outpouring of love and support by Dwight's friends and family through his illness.



Music (and especially guitar) aficionados shall recite a riff-filled rosary for the great Phil Emmanuel, brother of fellow guitar slinger Tommy and among the truly super-talented musical families, along with the Carlings of Sweden and the Marsalises of New Orleans. So, to at least attempt to close today's depressing post on a positive note, actually A BUNCH of positive notes (including 16th and 32nd notes), here are Phil & Tommy Emmanuel, doing what they do so well.








Saturday, May 19, 2018

Son Of "Still More Unfortunate Print Ads"



When that topic for the day's post is truly elusive, more elusive than the Elusive Butterly Of Love sought by Bob Lind, about all that can be done is to say "I've got it - let's find cheesy print ads and post 'em!





Here's a post-flapper era Lucky Strike ad, featuring a couple that gets fully dressed post-whoopee faster than Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Possessed. "Everybody's doing it!"



Here's a doozy promoting Crunchie candy bars: a "bright sunny day + beach + exciting biting of Crunchie = subsequent hours and hours of sex" advertisement which very likely sold lots and lots of chocolate bars to hopeful Brits. At long last this writer understands that joke in the Monty Python's Flying Circus episode The Cycling Tour in which Michael Palin, as the gloriously clueless "Mr. Pither," says "severely damaged my Crunchie."



In the "it sounded like a good idea at the time" department, here's a 1957 print ad for Kool-Aid, found in the DesignCrowd blog's 100 Year Evolution Of Print Advertising. While this golden color works for a lager beer from Munich or Canada, the implications for a tall frosty glass of Kool-Aid prove less than appetizing. Don't know what lasted longer, the Edsel or "Golden Nectar" Kool-Aid.



Then again, Rheingold Beer, with the aid of the accordion-wielding Miss Rheingold of 1956, maybe could have gotten away with calling the New York brew "golden nectar," as long as it was also dry. . . extra dry!



Admittedly, the following Lucky Strikes ad isn't cheesy by any stretch of the imagination, due to the presence of Marlene Dietrich.



There's some truth in advertising here as well. It is not a stretch to imagine Marlene chain-smoking backstage after delivering 27 consecutive songs for an adoring audience - and pondering the set list for the next performance. Maybe the boys in the back room will have cases of Rheingold Beer and Lucky Strikes.



What we at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog would have really liked in a print ad would have been an even longer, ridiculously long cigarette holder, Tex Avery MGM cartoon long, followed by a sign saying "Long Darn Cigarette Holder, Isn't It?" The one Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany's uses, which barely fits in the film frame, would be a start.



There must have been a favorite cigarette holder of Tallulah Bankhead exactly along those lines, but, alas, Tallu didn't do cigarette commercials. She did, however, do radio shows with Groucho Marx!



Even before he hosted You Bet Your Life, Groucho did his share of print ads. He was quite an avid reader, so this one for G.E. lightbulbs seems appropriate. One wonders if when Groucho did these ads, "Chico needed the money."



Acknowledgements:
23 Vintage Ads That Would Be Banned Today from Bored Panda.com

Collectors Weekly

The New York Historical Society, for their post, The Fashion Of Beer: Miss Rheingold Of 1956

And, last but not least, Gilbert Gottfried and Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast for the "Chico needed the money" line!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Locomotion Cinema


Watching Richard Fleischer's amazing thriller The Narrow Margin on TCM's Noir Alley recently, realized that Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog has never devoted an entire post to movies with trains in them or set on trains. Fritzi Kramer of Movies Silently wrote an entertaining post on the origins of the Silent Movie Myth: Tied to the Railroad Tracks - that damsel in distress image from stage, deftly spoofed both by the likes of Mack Sennett's studio and, 45 years later, Jay Ward's Dudley Do-right of the Mounties cartoons - so by golly, we'll give this the old college try, starting with a musical interlude!



Since one of the first American-made movies to be a boffo hit was Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery, this sounds like a plan. So let's do the locomotion, first with Bulgarian-French Scopitone queen Sylvie Vartan.



Since today's compendium of clips and cartoons will have one unifying factor, locomotives, we'll kick this off with possibly the greatest train cartoon ever made, the 1936 Max Fleischer Color Classic Play Safe. There is a psychedelic quality to both the painted layouts and the 3-D tabletop sets a.k.a. the Fleischer setback camera technique throughout. The patented Fleischer 3-D effects in Play Safe are only surpassed by the studio's 1936 piece-de-resistance, Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor.



Animation buffs have been arguing over The Fleischer Studio’s ‘Setback’ Camera vs. Disney realism for eight decades and maybe shall do this for at least eight more decades. Whether you prefer the Disney or Fleischer approaches, the multiplane camera or the revolving tabletop mini-sets, enjoy Play Safe, one of the greatest and most imaginative cartoons to emerge from the Fleischer Studio.



Now, the Fleischer studio made lots of cartoons on trains over nearly 30 years in production. A few years before Play Safe, the one, the only Betty Boop hosted her own train in The Betty Boop Limited. We assume Miriam Hopkins didn't want the job - and we are certain Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg were NOT interested, either!



La Boop, under contract to Paramount Pictures, no doubt had to do this cartoon, since the Fleischer Studio's #1 rival Walt Disney and ace animator Un Iwerks had already made Mickey's Choo-Choo in 1929.



That said, The Betty Boop Limited was at least the second train cartoon - well, that we know of - featuring Betty Boop.



The Fleischers had plenty of experience with train cartoons even before talkies. They were not alone; Disney made at least one train cartoon, Hungry Hoboes, starring Oswald The Lucky Rabbit. One of the numerous cartoons from the Fleischer studio's Inkwell Imps series features Koko The Clown as an engineer in Koko's Toot Toot.



As far as feature films set on trains go, this blogger's favorite, hands-down, remains Richard Fleischer's classic Narrow Margin, co-starring macho tough guy Charles McGraw with macho tough gal Marie Windsor. Yes, that's right - Richard Fleischer, son of Max Fleischer and nephew of Dave, the producers of the last three cartoons.



The very first train film this blogger was ever aware of was a silent movie starring comedian Monty Banks, Chasing Choo Choos. If Mr. Blogmeister remembers correctly, first saw this in one of the Robert Youngson comedy compilation features.



The Robert Youngson comedy compilation features, Laurel & Hardy’s Laughing 20's and Four Clowns in particular, constituted this writer's introduction to the films of The Hal Roach Studio.



There are so many Roach comedies involving trains - Get Out & Get Under, Now Or Never (Harold Lloyd), Berth Marks (Laurel & Hardy), Sundown Limited, Railroadin’ and Choo-Choo (Our Gang) and Show Business (Thelma Todd & Zasu Pitts), just to name a few - it would take further posts to come close to getting into all of them.



The mention of daredevil Harold Lloyd recalls another intrepid, triple-jointed acrobatic comedian from silents, Al St. John, who, very likely in response to John Ford's big budget epic of epics The Iron Horse, starred in the stellar silent comedy The Iron Mule. Roscoe Arbuckle, Al's uncle and frequent co-star (at Sennett and Comique) directed. And whenever there's a post-1922 Arbuckle and/or St. John picture, it's worth looking carefully for Buster Keaton, known to make cameo appearances in his friends' films.



And speaking of Buster Keaton, had the pleasure of seeing Buster's epic of epics to out-epic The Iron Horse, The General in one of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival programs and was completely, entirely blown away. If one is lucky enough to have an opportunity to see it on the big screen with an audience, don't miss it. The General is truly spectacular and loses a fair amount of its magic when viewed on the small screen.





One guy who very likely saw The Iron Horse, The Iron Mule and The General was cartoonist, animator and movie director Frank "Tish Tash" Tashlin. Among a slew of excellent Looney Tunes cartoons Tashlin directed, Porky's Railroad tackles the "modern vs. old reliable" storyline, bringing creative uses of pacing, editing, camera angles and great gags to the process.



Back to features, a big screen epic that very likely loses a great deal of its impact seen on TV, iPad or (God help us) smart phone is Cecil B. DeMille's 1939 Paramount opus Union Pacific, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea. Haven't seen it and thus cannot comment further with any authority or knowledge, but . . . WOW - the iconic Babs and McCrea are on hand and if the film is 1/10 as cool as the titles, it's movie fun exemplified. And besides, the Fleischers spoofed it with the Popeye cartoon Onion Pacific!



Out the same year as Union Pacific: one of the last British feature films of Alfred Hitchcock, The Lady Vanishes. Did Hitchcock have a thing about trains? Yes - both the prim Sir Alfred Hitchcock who made Number Seventeen and The Lady Vanishes and the not-so-prim Sir Alfred of Shadow Of A Doubt and Strangers On A Train. There are Hitch cameos three of the films!



Given that Hitchcock's 1936 feature Sabotage is not at all prim and in fact shockingly diabolical in its denouement, the character of Bruno Anthony in Strangers On A Train, played brilliantly by Robert Walker, remains the personification of the all-American movie psychopath and just one among several in the Hitchcock catalog: bloodthirsty scum of the earth, yet unnervingly clever.



It was no accident that when Patricia Hitchcock made an in-person appearance at an SRO screening of Strangers On A Train at the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, CA many years ago (but decades after the film's original theatrical release), the line ran around the block!



Now just what the link between The Master Of Suspense and mid-1960's pop music is, we don't know, have no idea, but while this blogmeister can't remember a specific episode of The Monkees TV show that takes place on a train offhand, what the hey, who cares, Last Train To Clarksville is a great tune - one of their best!




Fittingly, since we can't find a clip from Scrappy in Railroad Wretch, we'll stick to 1960's pop music and let recording artist Little Eva get the last word on today's post.


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Trashy Trailers For A Saturday




It's a don't worry, we'll think of a title kind of day and, as we're enjoying listening to The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show on KFJC, the topic of today's post shall be trailers a.k.a. coming detractions.



While we're not big fans of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog, we do like trailers from bad movies. No, let's make that trailers from very bad movies.



Have seen many of these movies in their entirety on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Cinema Insomnia or the live Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax shows.



The following trailers are some lulus, and they come in extra cheesy flavors, just the way we like them at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog. We're amazed these fly-by-night production houses could even afford to make a trailer!



Then again, in the words of Mr. Lobo of Cinema Insomnia, they're not bad movies, just "misunderstood".



There's always the trailer to alert one to NOT watch the feature.



Some trailers actually show the ending of the film!



Others tip off the entire idea of the movie, in this case, "say, since that Batman TV show is the biggest boffo thing in showbiz, let's get a girl with ample cleavage and have her wear a Batwoman mask, then find a bunch of kids to dance the frug. Who needs a storyline?"



Continuing this cornucopia of cheap cinematic crap, the "coming detractions" trailer from The Mighty Gorga. Can a hard-working independent filmmaker produce a "rampaging dinosaur" epic on a budget of $1.50 and a three hour shooting schedule? No - definitely and emphatically!



If there could be a list of WTF??? and "why why why did this get produced???" movies, The Wild Women Of Wongo might be #1. Too bad Arthur Q. Bryan was not available to narrate the trailer in the voice of Elmer Fudd.



The YouTube channel of Something Weird Video, a company that specializes in the netherworld of "misunderstood" low, lower and no budget grindhouse movies, is the motherlode of schlock, trash and exploitation trailers.



Something Weird Video has assembled a vast lot of cinematic car wrecks one can't stop rubbernecking at - and we mean that as a compliment.



Here's a trailer for an indescribably terrible movie about a guy who, after a car accident, ends up as a preacher and ends up with a floozy - the cheap floozy to end all cheap floozies, strictly non-Screen Actors Guild variety. One imagines Doris Wishman, director/writer of Bad Girls Go To Hell and many more proudly sleazy (produced on-time and on-budget) exploitation flicks watched this one and took notes on how to make the tawdry storyline even more tawdry, with even less of a budget, less actors, less dialogue and less clothing.



The 7th Commandment was directed by Irvin Berwick, most certainly not a fan of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, who also helmed the nearly as atrocious Monster Of Piedras Blancas. Funny, for some reason, it's always a pretty girl seen undressing before the gruesome murderous monster appears, as opposed to, say, Billy Sands, Maurice Gosfeld or Allan Melvin.



How does one close a post dedicated to flicks that will never, ever, be seen as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival? It is clear that, back in the 1980's, some fellows in the Twin Cities were watching these cinematic rejects and seeking the actual coming attractions trailers for said B-movies, as the boys of the KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival were doing in California.



Among the films this blogger has seen on Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Cinema Insomnia and Creature Features (and could not find a trailer for on YouTube), most infamous would be the one made by an El Paso fertilizer salesman, Manos: The Hands Of Fate.



Now THAT'S a great way to get the weekend started on the wrong track!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Postscript to The Alice Howell DVD Project



Good news (for a change) - the Kickstarter noted here last Saturday, raising funds for The Alice Howell DVD project - 6 rare silent comedies not only made its initial goal in 8 hours but more than doubled it, passing the $10,000 benchmark and surpassing the stretch goals.



That said, the fundraiser by Ben Model and Steve Massa is on through Tuesday, May 8 and one can contribute to said Kickstarter here.



The more money raised, the more hilarious Alice Howell comedies will be available for viewing on DVD!

New stretch goal is 340 contributors.



Thanks to the enthusiastic response thus far, now there will be eleven rare films starring Alice Howell on a 2-DVD set instead of six on one DVD.



The following titles have been added to The Alice Howell DVD project:

Shot In The Excitement (1914) Keystone Comedy, co-starring Alice with the equally wacky (and triple-jointed) Al St. John and gonzo circus clown Rube Miller, termed "a triple threat of the uninhibited" by writer Lea Stans in her review from the Silent-ology website which describes the film's utter mayhem: over-the-top performances, cartoony gags, slow-flying cannon balls, you name it.

Under New Management (1915) Henry Lehrman Productions a.k.a. L-Ko, co-starring Gene Rogers and Alice's fellow L-Ko Studio comedienne Gertrude Selby. Ms. Howell started at L-Ko (short for "Lehrman Knock-out") as a supporting player in the films of Billie Ritchie, formerly (like Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel) of the Fred Karno company, before headlining her own series.



Her Lucky Day (1920) Reelcraft, co-starring Dick Smith, Alice's husband and frequent collaborator (in front of and behind the cameras) in her films for Reelcraft and Universal. Smith also directed the Marx Brothers' first film, a 1921 silent, Humor Risk.

Father Was a Loafer (1915), L-Ko comedy, co-starring the lowdown, ever-misanthropic Billie Ritchie as "the loafer" and Gertrude Selby as the heiress the loafer is wooing.

Neptune's Naughty Daughter (1917) Century Comedy, directed by the prolific John G. Blystone, whose last film was Laurel & Hardy's 1938 feature Block-heads. Check out Alice's duck walk!



The producer of the DVD collection, Ben Model of Undercrank Productions, is targeting the end of November 2018 for completion of the project and a February 2019 release.



Logistics for the film transfers are lined up and ready to go with the Library of Congress. One additional short is being scanned for the project from 35mm nitrate by EYE Filmmusueum in the Netherlands.



Since none of her starring vehicles for L-KO, Century Comedies, Emerald Motion Picture Company and Bulls-Eye/Reelcraft were available when Robert Youngson produced his influential series of silent comedy compilation features - The Golden Age Of Comedy, When Comedy Was King, Days Of Thrills & Laughter, 30 Years Of Fun - in the 1950's and 1960's, recognition for The Queen Of Slapstick has been a long time coming.



As a direct result of the utter unavailability of her films, until the recent books She Could Be Chaplin: The Comedic Brilliance Of Alice Howell by Anthony Slide and Steve Massa's Slapstick Divas: The Women Of Silent Comedy, there hasn't been a heckuva lot written about the hard-working silent movie comedienne.



Mr. Massa, the aforementioned author and co-curator of The Alice Howell DVD Project, elaborates further on Ms. Howell and silent film comedians in this interview on the Vaudevisuals website.






For more info, there's the following: an excellent article by Trav S.D., author of Chain Of Fools: Silent Comedy And Its Legacies - From Nickelodeons To YouTube, the full chapter she receives in Lame Brains And Lunatics: The Good, The Bad And The Forgotten Of Silent Comedy by Steve Massa and a section in Eccentrics Of Comedy by Anthony Slide.



Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Alice Howell DVD Project



Happily, a Kickstarter has been launched to raise the dough-re-me for a DVD collection featuring the funniest gal in silent movies not named Mabel Normand: the one, the only, the wacky redhead 30 years before Lucille Ball - Alice Howell, star of her own series of slapstick 2-reelers for L-Ko, Century Comedies, Reelcraft and Universal. Stan Laurel considered her among the top comediennes in motion pictures during the rough-and-ready days of silents.



Alice was hilarious and gifted at physical comedy, as this brief clip from one of her many L-Ko comedies produced in 1916 demonstrates.



Since she starred in comedies affiliated with Universal Pictures, a company not known for preserving their backlog of silent films, only a dozen of Alice's starring short subjects exist.



Slated to be on The Alice Howell Collection DVD: How Stars Are Made (1916), In Dutch (1918), A Convict's Happy Bride and His Wooden Leg-acy (both made in 1920, distributed by Reelcraft and discovered in the Artie Mogull film collection), Distilled Love (1920) and Under A Spell (1925)




The hope is that this Kickstarter will not just meet but surpass its goal and a subsequent commercial release of this collection of her classic comedies will bring much deserved and long overdue recognition to a great comedienne of the silent era.



The Kickstarter is on until Tuesday, May 8 at 11:59 PM EDT. For more info, read She Could Be Chaplin: The Comedic Brilliance Of Alice Howell by Anthony Slide and Slapstick Divas by Steve Massa.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Across The 20th Century Pop Culture Universe



Still happily reeling a week after a fun KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival, this writer's imagination is back traipsing across the universe. . . and that's as good an excuse as any for starting today's post with a certain great song by The Beatles by that title.



Whirling through the wonderment of the the 20th century pop culture vistas means traipsing lights fantastic across said universe for no reasons whatsoever. It also means that instead of going to the gym, watching that diet and excess avoirdupois, one watches Citizen Kane and The Last Of The Secret Agents back-to-back.



Today's question at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog would be . . . Did anyone, in front of or behind the camera, work in ALL the genres, live-action and animation?



Probably not, but some actors indeed worked in both multiple movie genres, plus animated cartoons, as well as serials. Let's start with Leonard Nimoy's appearances in the Republic serial Zombies Of The Stratosphere and boxing drama Kid Monk Baroni, both well known to Star Trek geeks.






Shatner, who starred in episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits prior to landing the role of Captain James T. Kirk also appeared in movies between Star Trek seasons. White Comanche (1968) is a guilty pleasure at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog.





Did William Shatner work in every conceivable type of movie and TV show? Yes, with the possible exception of kung fu movies (too bad, we'd like to see him Kung Fu Fighting). One would imagine, if there was a single performance among the dozens of credits on Mr. Shatner's resume he'd like us all to forget, it might be his role as the murderous psycho lounge lizard (polyester leisure suits and ultra-loud sports jackets included) in Impulse.



After William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy starred in the first Star Trek TV show - and 5 years after the end of its original run - Gene Roddenberry's space opera was adapted into an animated series. There was a point in the early 1970's when Filmation was bringing back the bare outlines of former hit 1960's TV shows in semi-animated form. Most, such as one inspired by My Favorite Martian, had absolutely nothing to do with the original program - did not even hire the actors who voiced the main characters in the original series (Bill Bixby and Ray Walston) and were mostly an excuse to re-use the same cycles previous done beyond death on The Archies.



The Filmation Star Trek series is something of a surprise. It's actually watchable.



Star Trek: The Animated Series, bucking the general dismal 1970's Filmation trend, turns out to not be Star Drek. It's not bad at all, TV-style limited animation notwithstanding, and hearing the voices of Shat, Nimoy and Deforest Kelley is a kick.



As far as actors who worked in both live-action and animation with great success go, one instantly thinks of George O'Hanlon.





We enthusiastically devoted a post to Mr. O'Hanlon, the rare actor to have starred in science fiction both in animation and live-action, back in February 2015. Of course, the massively entertaining 1957 sci-fi classic Kronos is one of our favorites here at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog.




Stars and storyline and 50s sci-fi coolness aside, Kronos just wouldn't be half as good without George as the intrepid scientist.



Invariably, when watching Kronos, one of the first responses is "I've heard that voice somewhere!" Eventually, the realization kicks in. . . IT'S FREAKIN' GEORGE JETSON!!!



Always the trouper, O'Hanlon did two Jetsons series and the second one was his last work in a five decade showbiz career.



Before landing that wonderful and enduring gig, Mr. O'Hanlon starred in a slew of extremely funny 1-reelers for Warner Brothers as browbeaten everyman Joe McDoakes.



The Joe McDoakes comedies, initaied as a USC film school project by director/writer Richard L. Bare, ended up running for 14 years and 63 episodes.



Many of the Joe McDoakes 1-reelers are hilarious.



After Joe McDoakes, Richard L. Bare directed numerous television programs of all types, including almost all the episodes of Green Acres, easily the zaniest and funniest of all the Filmways Productions shows of the 1960's.



Now how the heck does one wrap up a post such as this? Well, the crossover from animation to live-action only goes so far. Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby Doo Movies series featured stars from TV and, as was the custom in the 1970's, beat the concept like a dead horse.



Since such comics as Jerry Lewis and Martin Short already ARE cartoons, it seems anti-climactic to bring theor loose-limbed physical comedy into the animated format. While striking this writer as something tantamount to an Al St. John animated cartoon, this happened - Filmation produced Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down? in 1970 and there was an Ed Grimley TV cartoon series.



We close with the intergalactic news that apparently an animated version of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's TV series Red Dwarf is in the works, and will be galavanting across the cartoon universe. Now how one, even with world-class animators, actually improves on Danny John-Jules as The Cat, we'll never know.



Let's hope all the original Red Dwarf cast members bring their voices to the cartoon version and we see LOTS of way-out ideas, as well as metamorphosis a la 1920's Fleischer Studios cartoons.