The Bad News Bears

The Bad News Bears

Written by Bill Lancaster (Burt's son) and directed by Michael Ritchie (who had helmed adult fare like The Candidate and Smile), this winning 1976 film worked on a lot of levels-and not just the "hey, those naughty kids are cussing" level either. There was the underdog triumph story at the movie's core; there was the satire of the uniquely American institution of Little League and its overly-involved bench parents (in the year of our country's bicentennial, no less). There was also a redemptive character piece at work, as Buttermaker, via his group of misfits, tried to get his shambled life together once and for all. Continue reading...

Jabberjaw

Jabberjaw

A pinch of Curly from The Three Stooges, a dash of Rodney Dangerfield throw in for good measure. Mix the ingredients and stuff them into a Great White shark and you have the makings for Jabberjaw – a fondly-remembered aquatic creature animated by Hanna-Barbera. Jabberjaw debuted on Saturday mornings in 1976, and although his stay was somewhat brief, his memory lingers to this day. Jabberjaw resides in the year 2076, a shark with a great sense of humor and superb drumming ability. The only thing missing is respect, a fact that he constantly mentions to anyone who will listen. Still, his talents land him in the touring teenage band, The Neptunes. The band consists of Biff on guitar, Bubbles on […] Continue reading...

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

Jelly beans are not a new confection by any means. In fact, versions of the kidney_shaped candy with the hard shell and gooey interior have a history that dates back to the Civil War era. For those who like variety, however, the traditional version never offered much more than a handful of generic, artificial flavors. That is, until the arrival of the Jelly Belly. From that day forth, seemingly every flavor under the sun became available in jelly bean form, thereby converting millions of candy fans into jelly bean connoisseurs. Continue reading...

Canyon Bomber

Canyon Bomber

The names of early arcade games left little doubt as to what the player’s responsibilities would entail. Lunar Lander meant sheer frustration as you tried to set down on the moon’s surface. Asteroids put you in deep space, shooting madly at the rocky obstacles bent on destroying you. And with a name like Canyon Bomber, your mission was crystal clear – you were going to bomb some canyons. Let's take a look back at this 1978 offering from Atari. Continue reading...

The Cat from Outer Space

The Cat from Outer Space

From the director who brought the world such classic Disney films as The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit and The Apple Dumpling Gang, came this cute 1978 comedy about a talking kitty from outer space - a premise not meant to be pondered, just enjoyed. While it didn't quite get (nor deserve) the acclaim of, say, a Mary Poppins, The Cat from Outer Space is still one of those entertaining live-action Disney movies that so many of us flocked to the theaters to see in the 70s. Continue reading...

Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island

Imagine a mysterious tropical island where visitors come to have their fantasies played out. If that sounds enticing, you are not alone. For seven seasons, television viewers checked in on the inhabitants of Fantasy Island every Saturday night, watching them live out their dreams, for better or worse, under the watchful eye of their enigmatic host, Mr. Rourke and his assistant, Tattoo. Continue reading...

Cootie

Cootie

The tales of origin vary. Some say it hails from the name of a biting insect in Malaysia, Polynesia, or some other pacific island. Others believe that it cursed the American occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century. Still others believe it came out of the American trenches in Europe during the first World War. But one thing everyone could agree on was no matter where the term came from, Cooties were imaginary. For a while. Continue reading...

Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas

Anyone with a penchant for comic books from yesteryear has encountered the story of the 97-pound weakling. Losing his girl after having sand kicked in his face by a bully, he discovers the miracle of “dynamic tension” and comes back a mountain of muscle, exacting revenge upon his former tormentor. This comic strip advertisement would be enough of an enticement to get millions of males between the ages of 15-25 to send Charles Atlas their money and make him a household name the world over. Continue reading...