Classic Celebrity Commercials

Hi-yo, Pizza Roll!

DATELINE: Olde TV Bad Habit 

Back in 2013 there was another compilation of “hucksters,” from advertisements and commercials on TV in the mid to late 1950s. It seems a bit unfair to call these old stars “hucksters,” as appearing at the end of their series or show (often in character) to sell a product was just a means of enhancing their income.

This delightful collection is a bit tiresome. Who wants to sit through one hour of commercials, even in fun?

A couple of points are particularly distressing. Most of the commercials were done in black and white, and most of them actually run for a full sixty seconds, which is maddening in our attention deficit age.

In particular, Steve Allen takes a Polaroid photo of Lou Costello and we actually wait while Steve talks for sixty seconds for him to show us the newly developed photo.

Yet, the compilation also features some fun moments and images we’ve never seen:  John Wayne sells Christmas Seals on set, and his director really is Wild Bill Wellman!

We were thrilled to hear the William Tell Overture selling some Jeno pizza rolls—and at the end of the commercial, in color no less, Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels show up in costume as the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

One funny bit features a color King Kong climbing off the Empire State building and driving off down the avenue in his king-size car. He puts his little blonde companion in the passenger seat.

Almost as stunning is to see Marilyn Monroe in full throttle, selling gasoline.

A montage of TV western stars of the era each smokes a different cigarette. We almost want to cry out to stop, please!

Leo G. Carroll as Topper smokes too, as do his ghosts, Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling as Marian and George Kirby.

We also see James Arness smoking away with Today Show host Jack Lescoulie! We had not seen him in fifty years.

Quite a collection.

 

 

 

 

Oak Island More Interesting Than Ever

Bootie of Columbus?

 DATELINE:  1492 Across the Ocean Blue

 As we dig deeper into the eighth season, the missing members of the show have returned: Alex Lagina and his cousin Peter are back searching through spoils piles.

No word on why they were absent for two weeks. But immediately Alex finds a piece of leather in the shape of a boot heel. Prominent suddenly is the newest member of searching, Michael John, a black man, as the show finally accedes to some racial balance after being all-white for eight years.

The last veteran is also present, Dan Henskee. And, a sop if thrown to the late Dan Blankenship who taught the searchers that you can dunk a piece of wood in a tub of water. If it sinks, it is exceedingly old. If it floats, it’s newer. We surely miss Dan.

Gary Drayton is also again the man of great knowledge and discovery. He gives a yo-ho when he finds a thick piece of glass and tells it is a rum bottle from the late 1600s. He is seldom wrong.

Drs. Spooner and Brousseau are again called in to give opinions—and the dating of items, nails, spikes, odd latches, seem to grew more distant in the past. It seems major work by large work crews occurred hundreds of years previously—and largely done in secret.

We are talking about depositers of treasure, not seekers.

There is almost immediate testing and evaluation of the heel leather. It belonged to a richly booted person, likely not a worker. And, shockingly, it could be from the 1492 era.

One of them jokes they found a boot that Columbus wore.

Geopolitical Prejudice of COVID

Not for You, Buddy!

 DATELINE:  Wrong State of Being

When your doctor’s office tries to tell you to register for the coronavirus vaccine and realizes they made a mistake, you may be generous enough to overlook it.

In matters of life and death, however, overlooking an attempt to kill you makes you a candidate for the Congress. Every state in New England has a different way to deal with administering the COVID vaccine to senior citizens.

If you live on the border of a state, like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and your doctor is in the other state, you are likely about to be victimized by ludicrous geopolitical medicine.

Hospitals have put profit over patients. Several doctors at the nearby clinic have quit in disgust over political football with patient lives.

Yes, in New Hampshire Senior Citizens can now register to receive the vaccine. If you live one mile from the border in Massachusetts, you may not be vaccinated until this summer at earliest.

If you are 65 in Massachusetts, you are a dead man walking, but you can walk to the clinic in New Hampshire for your shot. In some states, you can go for an injection and find out they don’t have any vaccine.

And, in incompetent Mass., you may notice that one hospital unplugged the freezer this week, spoiling almost 2000 doses of the vaccine. If your name was on the vial, you are a dead man walking.

If your doctor’s office thinks you are in New Hampshire, you are given a green light to receive the vaccine—until they realize you live in the wrong neighborhood. Talk about a new version of red-lining.

So, a nation divided along lines of COVID treatment is not a unified country. When your neighbor may be protected and you are not, despite being old and having a pre-existing condition, there may not be enough vaccine for you in any respect. Good luck, pal.

 Well, they say it’s only temporary. You will eventually be a recipient of the vaccine. The race unfortunately is between you and infection.  You are now Seabiscuit.

Alas, you may be a dead horse when the injection arrives.

Oak Island Teases Again

Ersatz Gold

DATELINE:  Missing in Action 

If there is any major development in the 11thepisode of the season, it is that there is a reference to the likely deterioration of weather ahead. Yes, another season os summery digging is about over. The Curse of Oak Island may be one for the books.

What has emerged in the recent episode is a continued absence of major figures. There has been another week with no direct appearance of Marty and Alex Lagina, nor Peter Fornetti. It is about the length of time for a quarantine. They’d never tell you that detail.

 

The two doctors, Ian Spooner and Aaron Taylor, have taken up major roles as advisors again this week.

Most of the on-site work has been hosted by Rick Lagina and the supporting workers. Marty shows up in a later filmed narrative analysis.

A growing chorus of responders keep asking us about Dave Blankenship, but he is gone for good, bought out by the Laginas and sent packing.  Nor is cartographer Erin Helton mentioned this week.

We spend much time again in the boring down to 180 feet where splinters of wood should not be. There is talk (again) of being near the money pit, with Money Bags 1 and 2 giving approval to dig.

Gary Drayton again is central to the discoveries of the week: a mysterious gold colored knob from a chest of drawers. Gary contends it belonged to a ship’s captain, and there is nothing to disprove his usual insight.

He later discovers a large post buried in the swamp with two massive spikes. It is a dock for a major ship.

In your usual disappointing news, the serpent mound is dismissed finally as a rubble field. Yet, the night’s show has been eventful and interesting.

UnXplained Tackles Endangered Monuments

 DATELINE:  America’s Monuments Features Trump

By sheer coincidence, after an attack on the great monument of the Washington, now under National Guard protection and fencing, UnXplained  has an interesting take on the locations. Included in this potpourri is, naturally, the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Capitol was designed to be the Temple of Democracy and has 600 rooms, far more than a mob can circumnavigate without help. It is a special place with a space alien goddess, an Iriquois, on top of the dome. She may not be related to the Qanon Shaman who attacked the Capitol, claiming too to be a space alien ET.

Shatner laconically tells us of the crypt in the basement and the ascendant painting on Washington on the inner dome. It becomes all the more appalling to think Trump rioters crashed and vandalized this magnificent structure.

The show also deals with the Washington Monument, recently renovated against terrorists!  The show is downright sentient.

Another sequence deals with Mt. Rushmore and its white supremacist connections, built on sacred Native land. But the true piece de resistance belong to treasonous Trump himself who shows up in a sequence to discuss the Empire State Building.

You got it: the guy who turned in his New York citizenship to move to Florida and has denigrated American monuments (except Rushmore where he thinks he ought to be) is cited as an expert. Yikes.

The episode ends with the near catastrophic Golden Gate overload of 1987.

If irony and shock is your thing, this episode of UnXplained is both shocking and ironic.

 

Deeply Boring on Oak Island

1st Appearance of Dr. Christa This Season

DATELINE: Boring Deeper

One friend who tunes into Curse of Oak Island  on a now-and-then basis claims that she never knows it’s a new episode. It seems every week they find an old coin and are boring into the ground looking for a new entrance to the Money Pit.

We’re glad she didn’t tune in to this show tonight. It’s more déjà vu than we can handle.

The eighth show of the eighth season is notable for who’s not there. Marty Lagina is on Zoom and not even on the island, and his son Alex doesn’t show up until he fills an empty seat in the final sequence. Peter Fornetti is nowhere. You won’t find Dr. Erin Helton either.

However, a couple of notable faces do come on board. First, making his initial island appearance is Mr. Moneybags, Craig Tester. He is the bank of Oak Island, and then at the end of the show, we have our first appearance of one of our perennial favorites, Dr. Christa Brousseau. We add Drs. Spooner and Aaron Taylor to the mix.

She has the most intriguing info of all:  she notes that two rose-head nails from different locations, one in the newly discovered serpent mound and another from a tunnel are the same, made at the same time. That connects the dots.

Once again, Gary Drayton is also on site as they uncover some kind of road out of the swamp, leading up to the pit areas. He finds another coin, likely from the late 1600s.

There are no additional confirmations of Templar work at the serpent mound from 1400, which is the most exciting part of this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Mummy! Daddy Shatner Tells All

Missing Booth Mummy, 1920s

DATELINE:  UnXplained Makes Dead Speak Again

 

After several dull weeks, the series UnXplained  now gives Shatner some outrageous narration—and he delivers as only he can. From his opening warning that the show will depict mummification and viewers are advised to be ready for the horror.

Mr. Shatner is never more amusing than when he must play archly ironic. Discussing bringing the dead back to life seems to energize him.

This wild episode casts a wide net. It begins with the most famous ancient mummy, King Tut, found in 1922 by Howard Carter, recapping that legend. It shifts to the self-mummification practice in Japan several hundred years ago when living Buddhist monks slowly poisoned themselves, in a drying out process, to become mummies.

Shatner’s onerous tones warn us several times about “disturbing imagery,” but it is likely the enhanced, colorized photos of the alleged mummy of John Wilkes Booth that might be rather startling.

Recounting the tale of how Booth escaped, and how he was mummified by arsenic by a local undertaker, his body was taken by Finis L. Bates, now called a carnival barker, who showed the body at the St. Louis World’s Fair. After that, it was displayed for twenty years before disappearing.

Other notable mummies are not to be outdone. Take Bernadette, born in 1844, who saw the Virgin Mary 18 times before she died. Once dug up, she was perfectly preserved to become a saint. However, they had to coat her body with wax and put her in a hermetically sealed glass coffin.

The same for Lenin is explored. He is systematically “recharged” every few years by scientists who make him look younger for public display.

Shatner takes some pleasure in explaining about cryogenics, or freezing dead remains for later reanimation. He also notes that an Egyptian mummy recently had its voice box enhanced to create his “voice” 3000 years after the fact.

All in all, this remains one of the most death-defying of all shows in the UnXplained series.

 

 

 

One Step Beyond’s Spooky Storyline

Stepping Out

 DATELINE: First Season Titanic Show

On the 62ndanniversary of the show called One Step Beyond, just after watching the last 2020 documentary on Titanic, we tuned into the seond episode of the series that predated Twilight Zone.

Of course, One Step Beyond  based its episodes on real historical events, like the Titanic disaster.  Rod Serling used fictional stories about a far-out dimension in time and space.

John Newland was your host and also the director of the episode, a rather low-budget black and white show with some stock footage from the 1953 movie about Titanic.

In this show, Newland begins with showing an unknown book in the library from 1889, which he keeps to himself, but will reveal at the end of the half-hour.

The main story is about a newly-wed Grace who dreams she will drown. Then, her bridegroom husband arranges a honeymoon on Titanic.

End of suspense. Yet, the story also threw in a couple of other precognitive incidents: a passenger who has free-floating anxiety about the ship—and in Canada, a minister who changes the church service choir song to one about a sinking ship.

These incidents were actually in the minor key of paranormal, but perhaps others were not so well-known. The real author W.T. Stead also wrote a story about a luxury ship that hit an iceberg. But, Stead on on board. The 1889 novel, Futility, was the second prediction novel.

The series had spooky little riff that came up on the sound-track at suitable moments, which may be the most memorable aspect of the show.

 

 

 

 

Another Day on Oak Island, Season 8

Swamp Thing

 DATELINE: When Nothing is Big 

Let’s cut to the chase and to what you really want to hear: No, no Erin Helton this week. Sorry, folks, though her mapping notions were verified again. That’s your Curse of Oak Island.

In the immortal, if not repetitive words of Robert Clothworthy, your narrator, another day begins on Oak Island with the usual suspects.  Dr. Ian Spooner and Rick Lagina are back at the swamp where Spooner directs the digging by backhoe by Billy to uncover a flat area road. We are puzzled by this as there seems to be nothing flat: three levels of stone placed deliberately.

The upshot is they need artifacts to date the construction timetable.

Gary Drayton is pivotal again, finding something called a plumb bob, which is an ancient tool to make sure you are digging level.

The biggest news comes via Craig Tester, not on the island this year, as Covid keeps him in Michigan, but through Zoom, he appears with news about the Serpent Mound.

The archaeologist Dr. Aaron  and his blond assistant Miriam are back at the table to hear that the nails and coal found at the mound are now carbon-dated to around 1350. That’s Templar time, folks.

More and more items are coming up with that date, indicating Oak Island was busy around the time the Templars were being hunted down.

The consensus came out that this was highly significant because it seems to outdo the Viking visitors with a mysterious purpose for work on Oak Island. Do we dare think Ark of the Convenant?

It’s a week when the smallest detail may be the biggest of the show’s history.

UnXplained Returns an Empty

fe, fi, fo, fumble

DATELINE: Been There, Done That

 After a short hiatus in its second season, William Shatner’s UnXplained  is ready to tackle more mysteries, but the latest episode is a dud.

In fact, it may be worse. If you have a sense of déjà vu, it isn’t because you know your Bible stories. This episode is a duplicate of Ancient Aliens  that appeared just a few weeks ago, down to the same stories, illustrations, and standard talking heads.

“Mysteries of the Bible” might seem like Shatner, with wide-eyed skepticism, taking on God, but there is little here of controversy. The usual experts from Ancient Aliens check in with their usual comments. It is either embarrassing or insulting.

Flip the coin.

Both shows zero in on the Book of Enoch, an apocrypha O.T. tale about giants and God sending the flood to rid the human race of these big pests who were perverted the countryside.

There were thousands of these big bad boys seduced little women.

The Bible history is put down to religious factions, various authors, and bad translation. Oh, it tells us about those who dared to put the words into a local language and suffered execution, but this is old hat.

We have the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls also retold without much new insight or latest shocking findings. Maybe there are none. The show takes a few additional pokes at the Ark of the Covenant, the Christmas stories of Jesus, and Gnostic gospels. Nothing new.

We hear as a throwaway that Henry VIII needed his own Bible for political reasons. He wanted a divorce.

Producers are cutting corners by merging the shows with more than less brazen contempt for the audience.

 

Downtown Blast by ET Lizard Conspiracy Theorist

Miss Petula Clark

 DATELINE: Christmas Mess

The dismay and surprise is now palpable over the bombing in Nashville by Anthony Quinn Warner.

An alleged alarm expert, Warner parked his RV in front of AT&T and let off a tremendous explosion on Christmas morning. He apparently did this heinous act when few people were in the area, as if that somehow ameliorated his nutcase action.

Now we have learned that he played on loudspeaker, the seminal 1960s hit song, “Downtown,” by the perky Petula Clark. The actress and singer, now a grande dame, expressed shock that of all the housands of songs, the mad bomber chose her iconic little tune.

“Downtown” has been satirized many times over the decades as a happy song about ghettos, but no one has had the nerve to blow up the downtown of a city. The bomber could have proceeded a few blocks to the Country Western Hall of Fame, but chose not to.

The late actor Anthony Quinn (known for playing Zorba the Greek) would also probably object and wonder why someone named after him would turn into a mad bomber.

We have also learned that Anthony Quinn Warner (no relation to the movie studio however much like a movie it seemed) was a fan of Ancient Aliens. He believed that extra-terrestrial lizard people who lived underground have been trying to take over the Earth. 

We are sure more weird parallels are about to emerge.

 

 

Autopsy on Andy Warhol

No House Calls Please: Dr. Hunter

DATELINE:  Squeamish Forensic Show

Dr. Michael Hunter, host of the Reelz network series called Autopsy, is said to be a leading forensic pathologist in a major American city. It’s unnamed to protect the innocent.

In his series, you must come to trust his judgment and theories, as he either confirms or adds to the official closing on the lives of famous singers, celebrities, or people in the news. We thought to look at his outlier, Andy Warhol, surely a famous figure, but one highly misunderstood and often dismissed.

Since Warhol died in 1987, at age 58, there are only a few first-person friends who agree to be interviewed for their insights. These include a biographer, a fellow photographer of lesser note, and Warhol’s two nephews. They are all highly devoted and deeply mournful over his loss, even decades later.

The case of Andy Warhol starts in youth, as Hunter points out that he had rheumatic fever as a child and watched his parents succumb to hospital ineffective treatment. It made him cautious of hospitalization, and finally terrified of even driving past one.

Andy never took recreational drugs, which seems a surprise to Hunter, but he leaps on two points. Warhol took one diet pill every day and was hooked on painkillers like Demerol (and for good reason).

Despite his suffering and weird social life, Warhol was a hard-working and productive artist whose playful media image made him seem slightly ridiculous.

Hunter does describe the horrific attack by nutcase Valerie Solanis who shot Warhol multiple times in 1968 and left him a pitiful shell. He had incisive hernias and had to wear a girdle to hold in his intestines for 20 years. Adhesions and scars gave him intestinal pain, and he never wanted to see his naked body, riddled with scars.

What Hunter fails to note is that Warhol’s would-be killer was a free woman after 3 years in a mental hospital. He was terrified she would return and finish the job. He used body doubles (also apparently unknown to Hunter) and photos may be of a double, not Andy. He also used assumed names and avoided public appearances where Solanis might find him.

He refused gall bladder surgery for years, and finally relented. It went well, but the patient still died mysteriously. Warhol’s death is inexplicable even by modern pathology, and you may feel Andy’s pain. He did not deserve the horrid fate he suffered.

Oak Island: Mountain or Ant Hill

Key to what?

 DATELINE: Too Much Unexplained

Every episode of Curse of Oak Island  begins with the onerous tones of Robert Clotwothy announcing it’s “the start of another day,” on Oak Island. It’s beginning to sound like “Once upon a time….”

But this show has our usual workers up early and doing their jobs: Peter Fornetti is the digger with Gary Drayton’s metal detecting. He always finds something interesting, and a trail of ox shoes from 1700 may be indicating a path to glory.

Diving is one of the big tasks this week, looking at some unusual features outside the swamp area. We always enjoy seeing the younger generation take charge—and this time, it is Alex Lagina, Peter Fornetti, and Jack Begley who go off with experienced diver Tony Sampson.

Another new research assistant, named Noah Currie, shows up without much fanfare or explanation with Gary Drayton. In one sequence Drayton finds what appears to be a giant, ancient key. Not much is made of this unusual finding.

The locate some wild metal detections, but are not allowed to dig to learn what it is. These restrictions tend to make the entire operation futile and senseless. The young researchers fail to make any point about some electromagnetic interference with their communication system.

Marty Lagina thinks putting fins on Gary Drayton might give better results.

The oddest thing of the episode was the discovery of the molehill:  there is a serpent mound on the island, a long twisty arrangement of stones and earth. Experts come by to contribute to the mystery, noting some serpent mounds can be 2000 years old and are ceremonial.

We wait till the re-appearance of Erin the cartographer next week.

Second Monolith Bites Dust

Criminal Intent

DATELINE:  Monkeys Win.

After a heist of art critics of the Utah monolith, there has now been a second brazen attack in Romania. The bad copy of the first monolith has now disappeared into the night.

Apparent vandals who moonlight as art critics came to the national park with a wheelbarrow and a brazen attitude, telling people to take their pictures now because the monolith would soon be gone.

Reports are now circulating that these were Trump supporters who believe they can make a monolith disappear at will—and they plan to make the recent U.S. presidential election disappear too.

The culprits include a man who has boasted of his crime against crime, setting himself up as a vigilante to remove “trash” from pristine desert areas. It turns out this cretin was banned from the national parks for his own abusive behavior.

Self-styled art critics, trash collectors, and Trump conspiracy theorists, now have combined to steal whatever is not nailed down. Ballots are next.

Whether the same crew flew into Transylvania, or whether it was a local group of crypto-Nazis we have not yet determined.

 

In any respect, the people above the law are now making the law the rest of society. So it usually is before a Hitler take-over.

 

From dust to dust, so goes the short lifecycle of a monolith.

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey See, Monkey Do Another Monolith

Twin Mono Peaks

DATELINE: Next Stop, Romania

 More shenanigans have resulted in a second Monolith discovery, this time in the historic mountains of Romania, not far from the castle of Vlad the Impaler, we suspect.

We hate to cross pollinate A Space Odyssey with Dracula, but satire knows no boundaries.

The hacked version is not as aesthetic as the original, but it is still a hollow tin cup of mystery. This one is smudged with lettering in some foreign tongue spoken in Alpha Centauri.

We now see how easy it is to double your mono.

And, the Monolith (black only in its heart) is placed on lands protected by government fiat. Yes, we have another illegal parker, nosy or not. Romanian meter-maids are on their way with tow-truck in hand.

Our monolithic LSD trip now brings us to face Romania’s Mount Ceahlau, which locals call the Holy Mountain. 

So, what are we to make of monkey business that now includes international placement of Zarathrustrian proportions.

Are these things dropping from the sky, or simply being downloaded by UFOs? Beam us up and your Monolith too.

Art for art’s sake is now causing more monkey business than we can joke about.

Keir Dullea has still not tweeted his impressions of the biggest event of his life, waking up with a Monolith in his bedroom.

Stanley Kubrick may be laughing somewhere in the Universe, having taken the route of celestrial light with him. Or, perhaps, we are talking that signpost up ahead reading, “Twilight Zone.”