Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Celebrity Guests

June 23, 2014

TV shows always had “celebrity guests”.  Usually, these guests were actors from other shows or movies.  Sometimes, though, they were celebrities from other arenas, such as singers.  I don’t know if these singers came on these shows as cross promotions (trying to promote their music on TV) or for some other reason.  I just know that I distinctly remember a few of them.


1. Stacey Q on Facts of Life.  I can’t remember if this song was hot before, after, or at the same time Stacey Q was on this show, but I do remember being impressed.

2. Ray Parker Jr. on Give Me A Break.  I thought they were really stretching on this one.  They kept coming up with reasons for Ray Parker Jr to ask, “Who you gonna call?”, to which the Give Me A Break girls screamed, “Ghostbusters!”

3. Laura Branigan on Automan.  I always associate Laura  Branigan with Knight Rider because her song “Creatures of the Night” was used in an episode.  She herself, though, was once on Automan.  Automan got to play guitar behind her as she sang.  I never wanted to be Automan so much in all my life.

Don’t forget to check out my book TV In My Time for more of my 80s TV memories!


Vending Machine Madness

May 16, 2014

Christopher Tupa, the artist who did the covers for ANESthetizedPlaythings of the Past, and TV In My Time, has just put out a book called Vending Machine Madness.  This book contains paintings of various vending machine toys Tupa has collected over the years.  He’s giving the book away for free on his site.  You can get it here.   If the free pdf version doesn’t work for you and you’d like a Kindle file, contact me and I’ll send you one.  Tupa is truly a gifted artist.  I can’t imagine how he can do what he does nor how he can do it as prolifically as he does.  The book is a lot of fun to look at, and you can’t beat the price, so check it out!


Movies That Made Their Way To TV

May 12, 2014

In TV In My Time, I talked about a couple shows based on movies: M*A*S*H (which I didn’t know was based on a movie until I was in high school), Blue ThunderFerris Bueller, StarmanFriday the 13th: The Series, and the animated Rambo, as well as a few others.  Here are a few others that I again forgot to mention in the book.


I have very little memory of this one, but I know I saw it a couple times when I was quite young.

Private Benjamin

Again, I’m not sure I knew this was based on a movie at the time.  The only episode of this show I remember seeing was the one in which Private Benjamin had some sort of trouble in the shower and had to march back to her barracks nude.


An animated entry.  I saw several episodes of this before I saw the film it was based on.

Steel Magnolias

The girls in my circle of friends forced this film on us guys, and I was moved enough by it that I checked out the first episode of this show.

Droids and Ewoks

These didn’t make the book because I didn’t watch them much, but I was familiar enough with Ewoks that I can still sing the theme song today.

Alien Nation

I didn’t see the movie or the show for quite some time, but they were always a part of what I call that “vast TV landscape”.

Freddy’s Nightmares

Was real interested in this one until I discovered it was basically The Twilight Zone hosted by Freddy Krueger.  Later episodes did tie into the NOES mythos.

There were several others both before and after the playroom era that I have seen (my favorite being My Big Fat Greek Life).  A list can be found on Wikipedia.



2013 in review

December 31, 2013

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Colecovision Kickstarter

October 25, 2013

I never played Colecovision. I never even saw one. But I still love what these guys are doing. They are making a fully-licensed Colecovision app. I’m imagining that this will be like the Atari and Activision apps that contain a collection of the best games. This is another chance at that “portable nostalgia” idea I like so much, so I chipped in my $10, which will get me a free copy of the app once it’s made. Maybe you’d like to do the same. Check them out at


Super Mario Bros Flagpole Pencil

August 25, 2013

Just came across this on Ebay. Best. Pencil. Ever.


Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters

July 8, 2013

I was just browsing through Crackle (which means I am really, really at a loss for entertainment) when I came across a documentary I had never heard of before: Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

Being a lover of documentaries on weird subjects as well as video games, I decided to give it a watch. As the title indicates, it is about a group of Tetris masters who are gathered together to determine which is the world master. Interestingly enough, the version of Tetris they choose to play is the NES version. I prefer the Game Boy myself. I just think Tetris is built for the Game Boy. But the NES version was a good choice.

Overall, the movie is pretty much as good as The King of Kong and Chasing Ghosts. There are lots of interesting side stories, such as the return of a Nintendo World’s Champion player and his claims to be able to get to level 30 (in NES Tetris, level 29 is considered a kill screen because the pieces fall so fast). Even more interesting is that this guy has his NES standing on its side, something I would never have considered doing in the original NES area and wouldn’t really consider doing today! Check out the website, which is selling the movie for $10, or hit it up on Crackle.


More 2600 Comic Book Ads

July 4, 2013

The comics of the mid 80s were filled with great ads for Atari 2600 games. Here are a few more.

More 2600 Comic Book Ads


How To Win At E.T.

May 16, 2013

I had no idea E.T. for the Atari 2600 was such a bad game until the modern era when I found everybody on the net ripping it to pieces and heard about secret landfills in the desert. I had it and played it and liked it as a kid. I still like it today, though I have to admit that its notoriety is always in the back of my mind anytime I think about it now. And it was that combination of notoriety and affection that made me pick up How To Win At E.T.
How To Win At E.T. is another hintbook from the Consumer’s Guide, just like How To Win At Donkey Kong. It is much more ornate, though, as each page’s text is printed over a full-color picture of the moon or other E.T.-esque images. It is longer, too. It took me quite a bit of time to work through this one. And it has more (and in my opinion, more helpful) information. The staff at the Consumer’s Guide really took this game apart, explaining what all the elements do and giving several strategies for playing the game. They even gave a breakdown of the six screens and showed how movement from each screen works.
The book’s biggest surprise to me was how difficult the game was. I remember finishing the game, assembling the phone pieces from the pit and being picked up by the mother ship. I know I did that as a kid. After reading this book, though, I’m not sure how that is possible because there was so much I didn’t know about the game play. It’s possible I forgot all those things, but it doesn’t seem that possible. Maybe I just reached the mother ship by luck?
In any case, the book was a little long and overly-detailed, but it still evoked that nostalgia which I’m always searching for and which led me to pick it up in the first place. It also made me want to play the game again. That’s right. I’m just waiting for my next opportunity to play E.T.


Evolution of Samus

May 12, 2013

I don’t know why I didn’t think to do the evolution of Samus in the same way I did the evolution of Mario, but I should have. It’s just as interesting. This time, though, I had to do the work myself, since I couldn’t find a suitable evolution anywhere. Here’s mine, which only covers the NES, Game Boy, and SNES Samuses.
Evolution Samus

I did find a couple of other interesting evolutions, though, including Samus artwork and Samus in her “bailey”.


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