Posts filed under “Popular Entertainment”
The Big Problem. The very existence of the entire universe is threatened by an evil so omnipotent, so pervasive, and so grimly set on apocalyptic destruction that only a man with a pretty good knowledge of Chinese martial arts can stop it. Starring Theodore Naphtha as the Lucky Dragon and Anthony Quagga as Evil.
Well, you are very fortunate, because you can see the Danish original right now—with the titles translated to Spanish for your convenience.
And although the film is on Wikipedia’s “List of incomplete or partially lost films,” this copy appears to be complete: the caption above specifies that it is a three-reeler, and the file is more than 50 minutes long, which is about as much film as could be crammed on three reels. The scene depicted above begins at about the 38:30 mark. You probably want to skip to that point, and tune out about half a minute later, because the rest of the film simply cannot live up to that set.
Dear Mr. Flounder: I have been thinking of a change of professions, since there seems to be little future in my current career track. Have you any advice to help me sort out the many possible directions for a man in my position? —Sincerely, Charles, Prince of Wales.
Dear Sir: It is always wise to place life-changing decisions in the hands of the spirits. Their direction is always reliable, though metaphorical. In this case the spirits sent me a vision very promptly. I saw a route 91 Butler Street bus outside the Wood Street subway station, and the driver of the bus was an emu. Another emu was trying to board the bus, but the driver emu insisted that no one could board without a proper rutabaga. The passenger emu offered a turnip, but the driver emu turned up his beak and drove off. Then a vendor cart rolled up the street selling rutabagas, and the passenger emu told the vendor, “Fat lot of good that does me now, I just missed my bus.”
Of course this vision requires some interpretation in order to apply it properly to your situation. After some thought, I have concluded that you ought to go into some line of trade involving the letters E-M-U, such as emulators or emulsifiers.
The Fat Man Who Falls Down and Gets Hurt
The Adventure of the Bent Garden Hose
Launch of the Steam Towboat Queen of McKees Rocks
Look Out Behind You!
The Silly Irishman Who Sees A Ghost and Falls Down and Gets Hurt
The Onions and the Weeping Cook
Presentation of the City Budget to the Mayor by the President of the City Council
The Pompous Society Lady Who Falls Into a Pond
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Falls Down and Gets Hurt
Patriotic Scenes at the Municipal Gas Works
The Funny Vagabond Who Falls Down and Gets Hurt
Remember: Other exhibitors with other devices may project moving pictures on a screen, but only the Animatokinetimotographiscope can legally be called an Animatokinetimotographiscope. Beware of trademark fraud!
L.C.I.S.: West Newton.—The new spinoff that follows the all-new adventures of an all-new Library Criminal Investigative Service crew in the crime-ridden back stacks of the West Newton library system. Tonight: In a special crossover episode, characters from the original series meet their West Newton counterparts and compare tragic backstories.
All for the Love of Diana. Dramatization of the true story of Albert Cardoon, whose dramatic fall from powerful state representative to member of Grant Borough council followed accusations of corruption involving a musical superstar. Starring Anthony Quagga as Albert Cardoon, Dame Wilhelmina Frimp as the Speaker of the House, Miss Diana Smoulder as herself in stock footage, and Theodore Naphtha as Miss Smoulder’s hurdy-gurdy.
Vice-President Harris talks about that time somebody recognized her on the street.
Rollo, the Calculating Poodle, prepares Alan’s quarterly estimated tax payment.
Bozar the Clown, appearing on Zoom from an undisclosed location, makes popovers in the shape of the Temple of Vesta.
Teenie Sparkle, host of the popular children’s program Sparkle Park, tells Alan what she really thinks of those sniveling brats.
Enoch Witherburton and His Not Labeled for Individual Sale Orchestra play the Century III Chevrolet jingle.
Tune in tonight: 8 p.m., or 9:26 p.m. Central, because deliveries are slow these days.
Announcer. Tonight the Yohogania Electric Light Company, powering your overindulgent existence, presents a world-premiere dramatic event: the first episode of The Postapocalypticon!
[Music: Dramatic theme, in and under for…]
Announcer. Yes, it’s the much-anticipated post-apocalyptic drama that follows the fortunes of Irv and Ike, proprietors of Irv ’n’ Ike’s Truck Stop ’n’ Souvenir-O-Rama, as they navigate the post-apocalyptic hellscape that their world has become after an apocalyptic event. Tonight’s action-packed world-premiere first episode begins the story right at the beginning.
[Sound: Long, drawn-out apocalyptic blast.]
Irv. Welp, guess that’s about it for civilization.
Irv. You know what I ain’t gonna miss? Texts. People textin’ me all day and night, makin’ my phone go bing cause they don’t know how to keep their textin’ fingers to theirselves. That’s what I ain’t gonna miss.
Ike. An’ phone scammers.
Irv. Yeah, like that girl that keeps callin’ and wantin’ me to re-up the extended warranty on my 1978 Volare. Ain’t gonna miss her a-tall.
Ike. “Sealed for your protection.”
Irv. What’s that, Ike?
Ike. I ain’t gonna miss them pill bottles where they have a plastic thing on the outside that says “Sealed for your protection,” an’ it takes like fifteen minutes to get through the dang thing, an’ then you get the cap off an’ there’s another seal on the inside that says “Sealed again cause we just hate you.” Ain’t gonna miss them one little bit.
Irv. Oh, yeah, ain’t gonna miss those. An’ airports.
Ike. What about airports?
Irv. Just airports. Ain’t gonna miss ’em. Ain’t gonna miss Twitter, neither.
Ike. Yeah, like no more havin’ to reduce your most exalted thoughts to the dimensions of a bumper sticker. Didn’t like Twitter, not a bit.
Irv. Facebook, too. Don’t care if I never see another breakup play out on social media for the rest of my natural life.
Ike. An’ printer cartridges. I mean, you print twelve pages in nothin’ but black, an’ then the printer won’t print cause it’s out of magenta. What is up with that?
Irv Auto-Tune. Ain’t gonna miss it. I mean, not every song has to sound like Jimmy Durante, am I right?
Ike. Ain’t gonna miss Schedule C.
Irv. Oh, yeah, I mean if we’d thought about how it would get rid of tax forms, we mighta pulled the plug on civilization a whole lot sooner.
Ike. Think there’ll be zombies?
Irv. Prolly just the crawly kind. Don’t have to shift much to get away from them.
Irv. Well, guess we better start learnin’ to do stuff the old-fashioned way. Pull down one o’ them souvenir country-kitchen recipe books an’ see if there’s a good recipe for Twinkies.
[Music: Dramatic theme, in and under for…]
Announcer. Will Irv and Ike be able to reproduce the authentic spongy texture of a Twinkie with only the materials available to them after an apocalyptic event? Tune in for next week’s action-packed episode of The Postapocalypticon! Till then, friends, remember to enjoy civilization while it lasts. Your Yohogania Electric Light Company burns trainloads of fossil fuels every day to keep the juice flowing in your home. Recent studies show that, at current rates of greenhouse-gas emission, our own tri-state area will become a post-apocalyptic hellscape within a few decades. That’s why you should enjoy your electric power now, while you still have time. Leave your lights blazing and your air conditioner humming, and make your world a cheerier place for however many years you have left.
[Music: In full, then out.]