Whimsy: July 2006 Archives

Looking for trenchant political analysis or deep thoughts? Then scroll past this entry.

My favorite band in high school and college was Devo -- nerd music par excellence. I was thinking about Devo tonight and went looking for Devo videos on YouTube. I wasn't disappointed.

Weird Al Yankovic's song "Dare to Be Stupid" is the ultimate parody of Devo's music. It isn't a parody of a specific song, but it captures the Devo sound and amps up the trademark weirdness of their lyrics by stringing together in random order twisted versions of proverbs and slogans. The video "Dare to Be Stupid" borrows from a dozen or so Devo music videos from their heyday. If you're a Devo fan, you'll laugh with recognition.

OK, one more favorite Weird Al video -- "I Lost on Jeopardy" -- complete with Art Fleming, Don Pardo, the original Jeopardy set, and a cameo by Dr. Demento.

Evidently, Richard Hedgecock doesn't want me to get anything productive done, because he sent me a link to a page of classic TV food ads on RoadOde.com: Franco-American, LaChoy ("Swing American!"), Alka-Seltzer ("Whatever shape your stomach's in"), and more. The home page of RoadOde.com has clips from Carpenters TV specials (Karen Carpenter and Ella Fitzgerald sing "This Masquerade" -- what voices!), soda commercials, movie theater concession ads ("Let's all go to the lobby"), outtakes from '60s and '70s TV shows, theme openers from the Patty Duke Show, My Three Sons, and the Pruitts of Southampton (you remember, Phyllis Diller's show).

Maybe the most poignant clip on the whole site is the feed from the Oval Office just before President Nixon's resignation speech on August 8, 1974. There's not an easy way to link to this -- go to the home page, click the "Outtakes" tab, and it's the first item. The description says, "Surprisingly, he was in a good mood."

Wow! They've got a commercial for Chef Boyardee pizza mix. Other than baking cookies with Mom, this was one of the first things I cooked as a kid. I remember the challenge of getting just amount of water into the dough mix -- it never seemed like enough, but it always was. We always made the pepperoni variety, and my little sister always had macaroni and cheese instead, because she didn't like pizza.

Long before the MasterSingers chanted the Highway Code and the Weather Forecast....

Long before the King's Singers chanted BBC radio frequency changes....

In 1939, Cary Grant chanted the FCC's station identification regulations on the star-studded NBC program The Circle. Cary sings with a kind of psalm tone -- all on one note, with an inflection on the final syllables of each line -- but each line is in a higher key.

(Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Whimsy category from July 2006.

Whimsy: May 2006 is the previous archive.

Whimsy: August 2006 is the next archive.

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