All right, gang, I've had a few requests for this - a Halloween Open Thread. Try to keep it vaguely on the topic of the day (i.e. no recycling of non-Halloween tips you've submitted until the weekend; I may yet use some tomorrow), and post your best pics, gifs, stories, anecdotes, fan fics and videos of pumpkins, costumes and haunted house displays. The nerdier the better, obviously - but cosplay is nerdy to begin with, so most things are allowable.
(Video above found via Laughing Squid; dino-pumpkins via SlyDante777)
Halloween is in the air! And there's little that can put some of us in that festively macabre spirit like the rantings of the great Theodore Gottlieb, a.k.a. Theodore, a.k.a. Brother Theodore. A fixture for decades on the Manhattan theatre scene, this one-man spook show - storyteller, actor and stand-up absurdist philosopher - was one of the pioneers of what is now called "performance art."
Theodore ultimately gained a small degree of mainstream celebrity, as a curmudgeonly, hilariously contentious talk-show guest. But he'd been on the fringe of American show business since the 1940s, soon after he'd fled his native Germany and wound up in California, with few skills beyond a talent for chess. His long, peculiar list of credits ranges from porn movies to NPR radio drama, from serials to Tolkien to Tom Hanks.
If you've never heard of him - and even you have and want to relive his high points, as you should - here are ten highlights from a strangely great career...
1. David Letterman Guest
Theodore had been a frequent talk-show guest since at least the '60s, grousing and grumbling to Dick Cavett, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and especially to Merv Griffin - it was Griffin who, noting his clerical or monastic appearance, had dubbed him "Brother." But the generation who grew up on Stupid Pet Tricks and Top Ten Lists first became aware of him through his many appearances, in the '80s, on Late Night With David Letterman.More >>
The seventh issue of Starlog hit the stands on June 2, 1977, the fourth of the eight-times-a-year issues, and a mere two weeks after Star Wars was released. And yet, the rest of science fiction world went on about its business, not yet grasping how much things were about to change. The Space Shuttle Enterprise is also still on the verge of going strong any day now, much like the Star Trek movie.More >>
Boy, that Joker has really let himself go. Not just stylistically, but criminally, too. After all those crazy crimes, turns out all it took to book the Clown Prince of Crime was to catch him driving off the road and hitting a tree.
Highlights from the weekend's best reader submissions.
-I can't be arsed to watch the entirety of "Butthoven's Fifth Symphony" (Timely-Tardis-Lego)
For the sake of those who don't read all the weekend comments - some of our regulars host an online game and are looking for new participants. [obligatory legal blah blah - this game is fan-hosted and maintained, and not officially connected to Voice Media Group in any capacity.]
Anything else on your mind? I would like to put one question out there: we currently do spoiler threads for Agents of SHIELD and The Walking Dead (and Doctor Who when it's on); one vocal community member has asked for American Horror Story to have one. I don't want to go overboard and do talkbacks for everything, but what say all of you about AHS...or anything else?
It's impossible to overstate the influence that Warner Bros.' classic Looney Tunes cartoons have had on American comedy. Decades before Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Adult Swim and Community, Bugs Bunny and his cartoon brethren were making ironic wisecracks, breaking the fourth wall and dropping constant pop cultural references.
But the thing about those Looney Tunes pop cultural references is that while they may have been hilarious to our grandparents, a lot of them are absolutely baffling to modern viewers. I've always taken pride in being into weird old stuff - even as a teenager, I was a middle-aged grump who listened to old-time radio - and I've been stumped by a lot of these things.
People are still enjoying Looney Tunes cartoons despite the constant references to forgotten movie stars and ad campaigns for products that haven't been manufactured since the Eisenhower administration, and that says a lot about the high quality of the work produced by Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Tex Avery and other Warner Bros. directors. If you've spent your whole life wondering why the characters in these cartoons would sometimes turn to the camera, bug out their eyes and say, "Well, something new has been added!", this is your lucky day! In this list, we'll finally get to the bottom of a few of the weird catchphrases that have plagued Looney Tunes fans for generations.More >>