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Category Archives: Cathode Rays

Radiant Baby

Being right in the middle of The Universe of Keith Haring, I thought I’d look for something interesting on the late graffito to share here. This mid-’80s news clip is typical of the stuff I used to see on him as an art-crazy teen. Back around circa 1986, he even made a short visit to Phoenix to work on a public mural. At the time, I remember hearing of a classmate who got Haring to draw a picture on his or her shoe.

Remember the Name — Irene

I was looking up Irene Cara on Wikipedia. It mentioned that she did a sitcom pilot in 1981, shortly after appearing on Fame. Irene Cara, a sitcom star? Somebody uploaded this pilot to YouTube in three parts (the first part is below). It’s a cute if dated show, with young actors Julia Duffy and Keenan Ivory Wayans in the cast. To bad the pert and pretty Ms. Cara turned to coke and flushed her career down the toilet.

Magoo, You’ve Done It Again

Here’s the first half of the Count of Monte Cristo episode of the animated series The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, which ran on NBC (in prime time!) in the 1964-65 season. I’m getting acquainted with this show since reviewing the upcoming Mr. Magoo on TV Collection DVD set from Shout! Factory. The box also includes the other two Magoo series, The Mr. Magoo Show (1960-61) and What’s New, Mr. Magoo? (1977), along with the 1970 special Uncle Sam Magoo. That’s a lotta Magoo!

The Famous Adventures show, which puts Magoo in various well-known historical events and pieces of literature, might be the most interesting one. Unlike the others, I’d never heard of this show and don’t remember it at all from my childhood. There aren’t a lot of gags relating to Magoo’s blindness, but it’s a lot of fun with a kicky, ’60s feel.

Who’s the Boss?

I’m sticking this one up since I’ve been grooving to Diana Ross’ 1980 LP diana today (not to be confused with 1970’s Diana Ross, or 1976’s Diana Ross, or 1978’s Ross. Miss Ross had a thing for egotistical album titles, eh?). Back when that album first came out, she did a TV special with Michael Jackson that I have vague memories of. Thanks to YouTube, I’ve found some of it.

I remember the footage of Diana and Michael doing “Upside Down” in concert, but this segment of Miss D. and Larry Hagman crooning together is totally new to me. Yeeks!

You Had Me at Meow

Watching an episode of The Bob Newhart Show on MeTV last night got me thinking about the famous MTM Enterprises kitten logo. MTM put the kitty (named Mimsy) through many variants over the years. By far the sickest one came at the final credits of the last St. Elsewhere, which has poor Mimsy lying down with a heart monitor going into flatline mode. Noooo!

P.S. As a kid, I always thought that MTM was the television branch of MGM. It always made sense to me.

What Happens In Japan, Stays In Japan

This commercial that Charles Bronson did for a Japanese grooming product called Mandom is so hypnotic. Honest to God, I watched it several times. It begins with Bronson alone in a piano bar, one where he’s a regular (based on the doorman’s reaction). He then drives home and, still alone, grabs a pipe and tosses his shirt off. He spreads copious amounts of Mandom on his fine physique while Country singer Jerry Wallace croons the product’s jingle. The scent of Mandom makes Bronson imagine himself brandishing a shotgun and riding a horse through a Western landscape. Who was the target audience for this, secretly gay Japanese businessmen? The Mandom campaign was a big success (oh yeah, there are more Bronson commercials on YouTube), leading director Nobuhiko Ohbayashi towards his loopy/fantastic “girls in a haunted house” feature film House.

Doing commercials in Japan has long been a dirty little secret for celebrities who want to cash in without spoiling their image in the West — pre-Internet, at least. I believe the scenes with Bill Murray struggling through a liquor commercial shoot in Lost In Translation slammed the lid shut on that stuff, but then I could be wrong. Are today’s celebs still shilling Japanese crap? Mull it over while watching circa 1990 Alyssa Milano hawking a chocolate drink while dancing to one of her Debbie Gibson-like tunes: