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How Apple's '1984' Super Bowl Ad Was Almost Canceled
The inside story of the commercial that changed advertising, even though Apple's Board of Directors didn't want to run it at all.... READ ON
Fun
That Horrible Star Wars Holiday Special
Most Star Wars fans are at least peripherally aware of the Star Wars Holiday special, but almost no one has seen it because it was never released on home video. The special aired on November 17, 1978. Ever since then, everyone involved has been trying to forget about it, destroy it, or at least deny that they did it willingly. But today, dear readers, you'll get a taste of how bad it really was.(Plot note: the special revolves around a holiday called "Life Day" which is a sort of intergalactic... READ ON
Fun
Kids on Sesame Street Explain Computers in 1984
So what is a computer? Let's ask some kids on Sesame Street in 1984.... READ ON
TV
Bates Motel Recap: Episode 1, "First You Dream, Then You Die"
Vintage Toy Commercials
Article
The Late Movies: Terry Gilliam's Animation
Terry Gilliam is now a renowned director, but he got his start in illustration and cut-out animation -- most notably for Monty Python. In the roundup below, I've collected some favorite Gilliam animated shorts. Warning: they are often crude and naughty. And Now for Something Completely Different A classic opener, featuring Conrad Poohs and His Dancing Teeth. Oh yes. This had a huge influence on my childhood. The Dance of Venus The Birth of Venus gets funky. Apparently from one of... READ ON
Article
Terry Gilliam Explains Animation in 1974
Terry Gilliam started out as the only American* member of Monty Python, and he was responsible for the absurd animated sequences seen throughout Monty Python's Flying Circus as well as their later films. Gilliam went on to direct some of my favorite movies (The Fisher King, anyone? Brazil? 12 Monkeys?). But way back in 1974, Gilliam appeared on Bob Godfrey's Do-It-Yourself Animation Show explaining how to make cut-out animations. If you're interested in Python history or actual animation, this is well... READ ON
Article
Sesame Street's Hurricane Coverage
Way back on March 26, 2001, Sesame Street aired an episode explaining that a hurricane was moving up the eastern seaboard, headed for Sesame Street. Kermit the Frog, correspondent for "Sesame Street News," explained the storm, and even called on real meteorologist Al Roker for details. The episode was focused on explaining the notion of hurricanes and disaster preparedness for kids. Predictably, Oscar the Grouch tried to ride out the storm in his trashcan. That original episode was re-aired when... READ ON
TV
Watch the Nazi-Themed Sitcom Canceled After One Episode
On September 30, 1990, British Satellite Broadcasting aired a single episode of a Nazi-themed sitcom featuring fictionalized versions of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.... READ ON
List
5 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets From Cheers
Thirty years ago tonight, an ensemble comedy set in a Boston bar debuted on NBC. Cheers didn't exactly set the Nielsens on fire at first, but luckily the network gave the show a chance to find its audience. Thanks to consistently great scripts (Kurt Vonnegut Jr. stated in a 1991 interview "I would rather have written Cheers than anything I've written") and a quirky set of characters, the Bull and Finch Pub (the setting for the series) has joined Paul Revere's House and the Old North Church as must-see... READ ON
List
43 Sesame Street Facts for the 43rd Season
Today Sesame Street kicked off its 43rd season. We're big fans of the Street, and to prove it, here are some of our favorite Sesame facts from previous stories and our Amazing Fact... READ ON
Article
"Death and the Civil War" - Tonight on PBS
Tonight on the PBS series American Experience, Ric Burns brings us Death and the Civil War, a bleak and wrenching documentary about the 750,000 people who died in the American Civil War. "Never before and never since have so many Americans died in any war, by any measure or reckoning," the narrator says, then Drew Gilpin Faust explains that in today's population that would mean 7 million dead. "What would we as a nation today be like, if we faced the loss of 7 million individuals?" Faust asks. This is a... READ ON
Article
The Time Douglas Adams Met Jim Henson
"Kermit and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew in the digitally created world of the Muppet Institute of Technology, 1985." -Image © The Jim Henson Company On September 13, 1983, Jim Henson and author Douglas Adams had dinner for the first time. Henson noted the event in his "Red Book" journal, in characteristic short-form style: 'Dinner with Douglas Adams – 1st met.' Over the next few years the men discussed how they might work together -- they shared interests in technology, entertainment, and education,... READ ON
List
11 Awkward Canadian Game Shows
Some of America's best-known game show hosts are actually Canadian -- including Alex Trebek, Monty Hall, and Alan Thicke. But in Canada, the game show landscape has featured plenty of painfully weird ways to win a few bucks (sorry, Loonies). Here's a rundown of the most awkward Canadian game shows. 1. Anything You Can Do This early 70s show pitted men against women "physically, mentally, and any other way you can think of." The most awkward element of the show was the requirement that the teams... READ ON
Article
Survivorman Returns
Image courtesy of Discovery Channel. I'm a big fan of Les Stroud, better known as Survivorman. When his survival show first appeared on Discovery seven years ago, it was a breath of fresh air -- by shooting everything himself (he lugs all the gear with him; no crew), Stroud gave us a voice in the wilderness that was authentic, minimally produced, and very personal. Indeed, this is a show created by, written by, directed by, and starring Les Stroud. He even provides much of the music, and brings along... READ ON
Article
The Late Movies: Flight of the Conchords
New Zealand hunkthrob band Flight of the Conchords recently recorded a brilliant new song, "Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That)," for charity. Seeing Bret and Jemaine back in action, I thought it was time to look back at some of their greatest hits (and stuff like that). "Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That)" In order to write the song, the guys interviewed a bunch of kids. Favorite lyric? "The? kids who are sick cannot do their hip-hop anymore." In case you don't catch the reference part-way... READ ON

Thomas Jefferson wrote parts of the Declaration of Independence in a Philadelphia tavern.

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