Dick Gautier, best known as Hymie the Robot on Get Smart, passed away this week at age 85, so I thought it would be appropriate to give him a proper acknowledgement. In comedy, the “straight man” doesn’t always get their due; if they do their job right, they make it look easy, and their partner gets all the laughs, but it takes great timing and delivery to set up a joke, and Gautier was good at it.
This is the time when everyone publishes their year-end review or their best of the year or whatever column. There’s always the entertainment round-up, best new this, best new that.
Truthfully I’m a bad blogger when it comes to this sort of thing, because rarely, if ever, do we ever get anything NEW. Julie and I are low-income; we live on a very tight budget and he entertainment budget is next to nothing so we are always buying discount or used. This is the Junk Shop, after all, and as it turned out 2016 was kind of a cool year for us turning up oddball bits of this and that on the cheap. These are just a few of the things I came across this last year that I thought were great fun, and not very expensive at all. Some of it’s even free.
It’s the winter holiday season, and time for the annual round of internet comedians snarking about that old song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” There’s usually an equal contingent of self-described “anti-PC” zealots defending the song, but it seems to me that both sides rather miss the point, preferring to parse individual words and phrases without looking at the whole thing in context. So here’s some context.
My buddy Scott Zillner is featured in the second episode of Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest, and Scott’s a good guy, so I’m gonna go ahead and pimp it. Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest is a new web-based series featured on Comic-Con HQ, a subscription-based website and streaming service created by Comic-Con International.
Every so often I’ll be doing a roundup like this. Bits of this and that. Not a column so much as a few column-ettes. This time it’s a couple of cool books people sent me, some scattered thoughts on The Twlight Zone and its imitators, and checking in with everyone’s favorite giant gorilla.
I recently re-read the two-volume edition of American Flagg! jointly published by Image and Dynamic Forces in 2008, which reprints issues 1-14, and it holds up surprisingly well. It’s also surprisingly relevant in today’s political climate. Aside from being alarmingly prescient, it’s a perfect illustration of one of my adages, “satire is prophecy.”
Drew Struzan began his career as an advertising illustrator before finally becoming the most distinctive and acclaimed illustrator of movie posters, best known for his work on the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter franchises. Long before he got to those iconic images, he made a whole lot of other movies look great, including some pretty terrible ones. Let’s take a look at a half-dozen: