Thursday, March 20, 2008

PSAs: Milk

Milk: it does a body good. This slogan signifies a simpler time, before the flashy celebrity endorsed "Got milk?" ads prevailed.

The milk ads in the late 80s are notorious and were oft-parodied back in the day. The standard formula: some pipsqueak is shunned by a bigger kid, then proceeds to go off on a tangent about how drinking milk is going to magically transform them into an Adonis. Milk might do a body good, but it sure gave these kids delusions of grandeur. And turned them into real assholes.

The brat in this video takes the cake. She's wearing what appears to be a wedding dress and screeching at her older brother, who joked that two of her could fit in it. Jeez, overreact much? Someone must have slipped some steroids into her drink, because she practically speaks in a baritone by the time she grows up.

This next one aired in the early 90s. I used to really dig the song. How sad is it that I can still sing it word for word?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

If you're expecting an entry about the movie, then you've come to the wrong place. I'm focusing on the awesome cartoon series.

This is one of those cartoons that I still appreciate the sheer brilliance of as an adult. The music and animation were incredible, not to mention all of the puns and parodies. Example: Beetlejuice's skeleton friend is named Jaques LaLean, a reference I certainly didn't pick up on as a kid.

Plus, you gotta love Lydia, one of the first whiney Goth cartoon characters.

When I was in second grade, some kid actually claimed that he stopped brushing his teeth because he wanted to be like Beetlejuice. I don't know if he was joking or not, but thinking back, his teeth were pretty disgrossting looking for awhile.

I truly believe that if it wasn't for this show, there would be no Nicktoons today. Beetlejuice was probably one of the first animated series to bring gross-out humor to mainstream kids' cartoons.

Here's the intro, complete with FOX Kids bump (interestingly, the show actually aired simultaneously on two networks, FOX during the week and ABC on Saturday morning):

Lydia summons Beetlejuice:

A short little ditty (let me just say that I don't think that Lydia's voice actress was ever up for any Tony awards):

Beetlejuice certainly doesn't have an Oedipus complex:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sesame Street: Me Lost Me Cookie at the Disco

I'm not in the mood for a long-winded entry today, so here's yet another Sesame Street clip from before I was born. This still aired regularly when I watched the show. My Sesame Street viewing years were during most of the 80s, when disco wasn't just passe, it was reviled. Due to this, I don't think I even knew what disco was until I watched this. I guess Sesame Street really does teach you more than just letters and numbers.

Hmm, I wonder if "cookie" is a codeword for something else. Cookie Monster sure was jonesin'.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Commercials: McDonalds Happy Meals

If anything has remained unchanged from my childhood, it's the fact that most red-blooded American kids are treated to a Happy Meal every once in awhile. And McDonalds has always been quick to pick up on the latest fads and capitalize as much as possible.

The following videos include Happy Meal toys that I myself once owned.

Before watching these, let's have a brief moment of silence for those characters that are no longer with us: Grimace, Birdie, the Hamburglar, the Happy Meal Guys, and the French Fry Kids.

Here's a commercial featuring toys from Super Mario Bros. 3. I had the springy Mario. I actually remember the day I got that. We went to the park afterwards and I saw a dead frog. Pretty eventful day in the life of a six year-old.

Fraggle Rock. I always liked it, but I didn't get to watch it as often as I liked, because if I remember correctly, it came on HBO, which my parents eventually stopped paying for. Anyhoo, I had the radish car with Red. One of my younger brothers ended up chewing the wheels up.

I was really into The Berenstain Bears books, so I was psyched when there was a Happy meal tie-in. I had Papa, but I lost his wheelbarrow practically as soon as I took it out of the package.

I was lucky enough to have not one, but TWO Little Mermaid toys: Ursula and Flounder.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Denver, the Last Dinosaur

In the late 80s, kids seemed to go dinosaur-crazy. It most likely started with the first Land Before Time movie. Soon, the small screen decided to capitalize on this fad with the introduction of Denver, the Last Dinosaur.

To refresh your memory, here's a summary of the show, courtesy of Wikipedia: The show revolved around the adventures that Denver, a dinosaur who was released from his dino egg by a group of multiracial modern California teens—Jeremy, Mario, Shades, Wally and Casey, along with tagalong little sister Heather. The kids taught Denver the finer points of skateboarding and other Generation X pastimes while protecting him from concert promoter Morton Fizzback. The unscrupulous concert promoter was looking to cash in on Denver’s status to make a quick buck, but the kids were always one step ahead.

This show was typical of late 80s cartoons. Skateboarding, surfer dudes in shades, electric guitars, and if I remember correctly, one of the characters sported one of those horrid "box" haircuts. That's about all I remember about it, other than the theme song.

"Denver the last dinosaur, he's my friend and a whole lot more." ...Yeah, getting my mind out of the gutter now.

Unfortunately, there are virtually NO videos online, other than the theme song. Here's the opening. Very catchy. I'll be singing this all day.

And the closing credits (same song, but with still images from the episodes):

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Commercials: Drug PSAs

Anti-drug PSAs. 80s and 90s television just wouldn't be the same without them. While most were beyond cheesy, some actually got the message across pretty well. I think they have more of an impact than today's PSAs.

After the 70s frying egg and 90s psycho bitch "this is your brain on drugs" commercials, the following is probably the most well-known and quoted. I bet you know which one I'm referring to before watching it:

This next one actually freaked me out as a kid. I think the music sting at the end might have contributed. It still kind of creeps me out, actually:

Here's one of those "Nobody ever says 'I want to be a junkie when I grow up'" commercials. This is the one with the runner (I wanted the ballerina one, but this video is better quality).

Pee Wee says that crack kills. I wonder if he made this commercial before or after "the incident"?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bumpers: ABC Saturday Morning

The quality and quantity of Saturday morning cartoons has pretty much gone to hell. I wonder if the networks even do those "after these brief messages we'll be right back" bumpers anymore?

Somebody on Youtube managed to capture most of the claymation bumpers that aired on ABC in the late 80s and early 90s. My favorite was always the one in which the three singers switch heads. Enjoy!