During a showing of "Green Lantern," I had an epiphany.

I, too, possess super powers!

I can sleep through anything.


Big Weekend

Big weekend, helping Morty stalk those confoundedly elusive chirping birds at the top of each hour.



Actual Letters to Mike Durrett
Continued From: "Incomings" and "Incomings"

Oh, goody, pinch me. It's another comedy quiz from radio historian Bob Middleton (a k a Bob Walker). Bob has a box of jokes I wrote three decades ago and he likes to test my memory of such international treasures and gut-busting antiquities, when he's not wallowing in same highly venerated box.

One of the following bits was written by someone other than Mikey. Am I up to the task of fingering it?

May I have the one-liners and the finger, please.


It's time for that great radio fun game, "Who Said That?"

  • Coming up: The Muppet Kidney Chorus does its rendition of "It's Impassable."

  • Things to Do Today:

    • Give a propeller beanie to a rabbi.
    • Drool excessively in a urologist's office.

  • Lawrence Welk knew his show was canceled when he discovered Tums in his bubble machine.

  • Summer Camp Tip: Avoid camps that have signs of Truman Capote wearing knee pants.

  • Today on TV: Orson Welles and Shelley Winters will discuss noises they consider embarrassing.

Now tell me, who said that?


This is an easy one. All are mine, except Orson and Shelley, but I'm locating the Febreze, nevertheless.  


You are right, nipple nose. For your prize, you get a riding weed eater.

Coming up next, our feature film with Charlie Sheen. You will hear Charlie say, "Does this look infected?"



Follow Mike on Twitter
My Recent Confessions and Observations on Twitter:

When I'm not busy being a trophy husband, I'm usually exhaling, trying to catch some oxygen. Whoo! I'm cramping, as the room spins....

Days are growing shorter. Personally, I like a day that accessorizes my height.

I've concluded my first-ever pineapple topping pizza. You have got to be kidding. OK, but it's no p'nut butter & mayonnaise sandwich. Slurp.

Watched: Agatha Christie's POIROT. The famous detective actually said, "It was a dark and stormy night." He reads Snoopy.

My tastes have changed over a lifetime. I'm more of a sophisticate & epicurean. Deep introspection, smoking a mentholated bubblegum cheroot.

Watched CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958). Everybody "Big Daddy, this. Big Daddy, that." I'd be grateful to have people call me "Medium Daddy."

I'm reluctant to grasp CBS won't be making any more episodes of THE KEEFE BRASSELLE SHOW.

Saw my silhouette in a mirror. I'm looking more and more like Fred Flintstone. Embarrassing. Going to grab my ball and Barn and go bowling..

I was expecting something more expansive.... CAPTAIN AMERICA 3-D: DAYTON, DES MOINES, DETROIT.

No one spells correctly anymore. I ordered two tickets to Funkytown. They came in the mail. We're going to FungiCare.

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Meet The NBC Penguin

Continued From: "101 Things About Me #183: A Boy of Color" | "On Loving Color: The NBC Peacock" | "Cock Tails for Two"

In 1967, at the dawn of the full-color era of television, a problem arose. The Beatles' popular black-and-white movie, "A Hard Day's Night," was slated to make its broadcast debut.

"Oh, no! We're the "Living Color" network! The picture is in black-and-white!"

Solution: The NBC Peacock was given the night off and the film was proceeded by The NBC Penguin.

I am not making this up. Here's the video.

"The NBC Penguin" via YouTube


Cock Tails for Two

Continued From: "101 Things About Me #183: A Boy of Color" | "On Loving Color: The NBC Peacock"

With the blessings of the National Broadcasting Company, color television's NBC Peacock logo was turned over to a pair of irreverent animators, John Kricfalusi, creator of "The Ren and Stimpy Show," and Nathan Love, inspired by the aforementioned Mr. K.

Watch the birdies.

Spümcø - NBC "Peacock 1" (1993) by John K. via YouTube

Spümcø - NBC "Peacock 2" (1993) by John K. via YouTube

The Origins of The 'NBC Peacock" (2010) by Nathan Love and NBC Artworks via YouTube

"NBC Peacock Thanksgiving" (2010) by Nathan Love and NBC Artworks via YouTube


On Loving Color: The NBC Peacock

Continued From: "100 Things About Me #183: A Boy of Color"

"NBC Peacock" (1957) via YouTube

Color television broadcasts eventually transmitted on an irregular basis in America during the 1950s, increasing until full-color production morphed onto all channels, circa 1966-67. NBC positioned itself as the "in living color" network, branded with incessant appearances of an iconic peacock, fanning vibrant tailfeathers at our faces before each program.

While color television may not seem like a huge deal generations later, NBC continues to trot out the trusty rainbow fowl on occasion. It's nice to see the bird getting work, considering parent company RCA has plucked a few dollars from color TV manufacturing since 1954, with, I hope, infinite gratitude to its dandy corporate spokesbottom.

Here's a batch of The NBC Peacock appearance videos, starting with a late '50s incarnation (above), followed by a 1968 surprise from "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" and a 2010 salute by the motion picture stars of "Despicable Me."

"The Sneezing NBC Peacock" via YouTube

"'Despicable Me' Peacock" via YouTube

More to come...


100 Things About Me #183

A Boy of Color 
I made a conscious decision as a teenager that I would not grow up to be The Old Man. You know, the coot who spews on about how life was much better when he was a lad. Cats' pajamas, poodle skirts, salt water taffy, muskets, Buddy Ebsen, and all that junk.

So, I'm not doing it here. I'm being delightfully informational in a happ'nin' gnarly bebop sort of Fizzies Party.

Kids today don't have any idea of what hell is.

Hell is watching "color presentation" logos, like the NBC Peacock below, in front of every television show on a black-and-white set for years and years until Mom sees a need to upgrade to the new technology.

"Michael, color TV? Reds and blues and yellows? You don't need reds and blues and yellows. Have you done your homework? Take out the garbage. Have you done your homework? Eat this orange. It's orange...."

NBC Peacock Logo (1960s) via YouTube

I was monochrome 'til age 16, when we got color and I had begun to gray.

I am scarred.

I'm mooning the peacock and these kids today....

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next

Thanks to Yowp


Big Weekend

Big weekend, attending the "Sing-A-Long 'Sound of Music.'"

For special engagements, the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein film musical has been refurbished with the lyrics onscreen throughout. The audience is encouraged to sing aloud during the movie.

I was so into it, belting out each and every word. Well, until I was bodily ejected from the theatre.

You know,

Charmian Carr
Nicholas Hammond
Heather Menzies
Duane Chase
Angela Cartwright
Debbie Turner
Kym Karath

Eleanor Parker
as "The Baroness"

is quite a mouthful.



Actual Letters to Mike Durrett
Continued From: "Incomings"

Here's another quiz sent to me by Bob Middleton (a k a Bob Walker), my radio buddy, who has uncovered a stack of one-liners I wrote for deejays 30 years ago. Bob likes to test my memory, as I recall or delude, and floss chipmunks.


It's time to play that enthralling radio game "Who Said That?" Brought to you by the makers of Butt Putty.

OK, here are our items.

  • At tax time, avoid going to an accountant named Bugsy.
  • I gotta hurry home. Today, I replace the snake eyes on my fuzzy foam dash dice.
  • Doing this show is more fun than tweezing Ernest Borgnine.

OK, it's up to you, our studio audience. Who said that? Mike or [another writer]?


Thank you. It's great to be on your show. Can we get some soap in the stall? Maybe some cling-free timothy?

Academy Award winner and actor Ernest Borgnine...Image via Wikipedia
As for my answers, nothing says "Mikey" like "fuzzy foam dash dice" and "tweezing Ernest Borgnine."

The Bugsy joke is not mine; it needs something more like stuttering spats.


You're right! For your coveted prize, you get a nice buttload of [name withheld, but funny!] Smoke Tartar. And you get a copy of our home game, "Ladies, Grab Your Seats."

You mean "Timothy" by The Buoys?

The Buoys: "Timothy" via YouTube

timo·thy (tim′ə t̸hē) [via YourDictionary.com]
☆ a perennial European grass (Phleum pratense) with dense, cylindrical spikes of bristly spikelets, widely grown for hay
I'm leaning to publishing these endearingly lovely quiz emails, Bob, with your kind blessings and beer farts. I will delete any incriminating material, specifically the name of [name withheld, but funny!], who, I'm told, is particularly attracted to my bottom. (A lot of that going on around [location withheld].)


Print away. I would be more than delighted. Did I ever tell you [name withheld, but funny!] never wanted to [field trip withheld].

I can come up with reams of more material. I was cleaning up my spare room and came across your funny stuff. You've got quite a warped mind, my brother.


No, Bob, you never told me of that particular female peccadillo, but, thankfully, I shall be suitably troubled by it until my dying day and maybe another eternity.

Gulp. You made me swallow my gum. "Cleaning up my spare room."

Come to our house. We have plenty more [to tidy].

More to come...



Actual Letters to Mike Durrett
This round of correspondence was initiated by my radio partner, Bob Middleton (a k a Bob Walker), formerly of "Boss Bad Radio."

I kid the Bob.

Bob says of WBAD, "1570 on AM dial, just above the police frequencies."

He's been a Kansas radio favorite for three decades, currently at My 93-1, Hutchinson. Bob once sent me an autographed tumbleweed. It's still blowing east.

I've known Bob from his days at WRAS, WIIN-97, and Z-93, Atlanta. His cat, Pooper, once jumped on my head and I kinda liked it.

As the cleverly branded Mike and Bob, we hosted the morning show at WFOM, Marietta (an Atlanta suburb), 1978-80. One of our popular quotes: "7:14, 39 degrees."

Bob still uses that. I get no checks.

In the following years, I wrote comedy material and published "The Security Blanket," a joke sheet for radio announcers in the United States and Canada. The monthly issues were along the lines of "The Electric Weenie," another comedy source for deejays.

Out of the blue, last week, Bob started asking the hard questions. He had found his wayward box of -- *cough* -- adlibs.


It's time to play that great radio fun game "Who Said That?" We will tell you [four] goofy lines. Did Mikey say [it] or "The Electric Weenie"?

  • I need more taxes like Flipper needs Nair.
  • It's so nice out, I saw Mr. Peanut getting fitted with a Polaroid monocle.
  • Mr. Whipple's ancestors were opposed to squatters' rights.
  • Weird dentist. He has pin-ups of Marie Osmond's cavities.

OK, which one is not a Mikey quote?

Flipper - The Original Series, Season 1
Planters Cocktail Peanuts, 35-Ounce Plastic Jars (Pack of 3)
Charmin Ultra Soft, Double Rolls, 4 Count Packs (Pack of 10) 40 Total Rolls [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
Might as Well Laugh About it Now

Golly. The first two are mine and have my rhythms.

I'd say one of the last two is not mine, probably Marie Osmond. However, I am not sure, although I do recall the Mr. Whipple. I'd be so proud to squat. And thanks for squeezing it out of me.

I hope I win some Turtle Wax.


You're right, MIke! Just for answering our question, you win two used airline tickets to Tallapoosa and some Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat. Now, back to "Catch It and Keep It!"


So, I wrote the Squatters' Rights bit! Yay, me. ... I'm especially humbled.

More to come...


Big Weekend

Big weekend, taking our car to see "Cars 2." 

There's nothing quite like go-and-dinner-and-a-show-and-a-go.

Afterward, we went for coffee and a quart of 5W-30 and someone got its dipstick wet.


Daughter of Blob

Continued From: "Movies in the Movies: 'The Blob' (1958)" and "Son of Movies in the Movies: 'The Blob' (1958)"

The annual Blobfest is underway and I can't make it to the festivities. A gargantuan prehistoric stinkbug is terrorizing my 1993 Saturn without foreplay or a proper introduction.

Special guest star Rutger Hauer is in my kitchen terrorizing our Honey Nut Cheerios® and the box of Popsicles®. Fortunately, he's just here for the day. My poor Craisins®.

The Blobfest, for you latecomers, is nicely summarized by the lazy writer's favorite source, Wikipedia:

Since 2000, the town of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania — one of the filming locations — has held an annual "Blobfest". Activities include a re-enactment of the scene in which moviegoers run screaming from the town's Colonial Theatre, which has recently been restored. Chef's Diner in Downingtown is also restored, and is open for business or photographs of the basement on weekday mornings only.

Now, that's kinda tingly, "photographs of the basement." I hope it's still damp down there with Moist Mop Blob Goo® (which I in no way mention to infringe on any pending Lady Gaga signature fragrances).

Reading more about "The Blob," Wikipedia caught my piercing, introspective, kindly, 20/14 eyes with a rundown of all of the film's follow-ups.

A comedy sequel was made in 1972, entitled "Beware! The Blob," directed by Larry Hagman. In 1988, a remake of the same name was made. In August 2009, it was revealed that musician turned director Rob Zombie was working another remake, but is no longer working on this project.

All well and, um, probably crummy, but I haven't seen them. I have viewed what must be the definitive sequel to "The Blob," a sequence from Woody Allen's 1972 hit, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask."

Here is a portion of the footage I call "The Boob" with Woody (no, no, that's not Steve McQueen!), Heather MacRae, and Dort Clark.

(Adult themes, language, milk products)

The Boob From "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask" (1972) via eBaum's World


His Name ... José Jiménez, Astronaut

NASA's shuttle Atlantis launched into outer space this morning, marking the end of an impressive half century for American primates. I remember life before the race to penetrate the heavens and, strangely, find myself living in the future where no more of our astronauts will pop up beyond the Earth's atmosphere strapped inside USA vehicles.

My comment on Twitter got me to reminiscing.

I was around for the USA's first manned space flight & the last. The best thing the NASA programs gave me was José Jiménez.

I was being silly, but, to be truthful, not much.

In 1961, before manned rocket flights, a comedy routine jumped to the top of the airplay on Top 40 radio stations, and elsewhere, becoming a swift national sensation. Comedian Bill Dana released an in-depth Q&A with his comic character, José Jiménez. It seems the endearing innocent somehow positioned himself to become "the first man in space!"

I was nine and completely devoted to this piece of comedy brilliance. So consumed, I demanded -- as much as a kid could dare -- that my mother purchase the 45 RPM double-sided single, which I played on our turntable incessantly, memorizing and simultaneously performing the material in response to interviewer Don Hinckley.

I found "The Astronaut" at YouTube to share here, but this particular copy has an added puppet show performance video inserted by a fan. Underlying, however, is the uncut audio I still adore and enjoy as if it were emanating from a news broadcast.

Before listening, Wikipedia adds an anecdote about José's superstar fame:

Perhaps surprisingly, the character of José Jiménez caught on amongst the seven Mercury astronauts, and Dana became good friends with them. "Okay, José, you're on your way!" Deke Slayton quipped as Alan Shepard's famous first flight launched, in reference to the astronaut parody.

For his role as José the Astronaut, Dana was officially made an honorary Mercury astronaut.

José Jiménez: "The Astronaut" via YouTube



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My Recent Confessions and Observations on Twitter

Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing, Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing.... Can you tell my wife's away? Sign me: Lonely in Sleepytown.

Looking for work. My expertise? ... Checking Pinky Winters for glove chafe -- and meltage.

I wanna see CARS 2 in a drive-in. It's only proper, but I need to decide to see it with GREEN LANTERN or PIRATES 4. Ugh. Revoke my license.

I abandoned my home for an all-nite CPAP Titration. I'd tell you what that means, but I'd no longer be the cool kids' king.

That time of the year again and the age old question: What'll it be? Watermelon or Buttermilkmelon? Slurpeecantaloupe? Listerinehoneydew?

July 3rd, the day the Founding Fathers cussed & cussed & cussed, argued & argued & argued, & went & played golf. The Heck with deadlines.

4th of July and the stores are out of Smart Dogs. No holiday hot dogs for Mikey. This is a travesty! And THIS is a pizza. Mmmmh, ggglllll...

I heart Independence Day. This vat o' tater salad may clog it....

I told my wife the last of the pound cake is hers. I am loving & fair. ... Um, I just ate it. I am a man without honor, but WITH POUND CAKE!

Eye Surgery Follow-Up: Doc lasered my "After Cataract." The After Party was lacking. No girls. No onion dip. But we did one-two cha cha cha.

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Son of "Movies in the Movies: 'The Blob' (1958)"

Twelve months have passed since I wrote "Movies in the Movies: 'The Blob' (1958)." It's been an uneventful year, completely Blobless, if you don't count my stomach.

I'll count it for you.


And growing.


And growing.

Indescribable... indestructible! Nothing can stop it!

My impressive, impressionable, boundary deficient tummy.

Run, kids. Get the hell out!

Anyway, my article focused on the delightful projectionist murder and crowd evacuation sequence at the theatre The Blob crashes.

A new essay, courtesy of the A.V. Club, takes us to "Philadelphia: 'The Blob' Movie Theater." There's an accompanying video about the annual Blobfest event, echoing my report, taking us inside the scene of the crime: the Colonial Theatre projection room. Watch and scream!


Big Weekend

Big Independence Day weekend, chasing fireworks. 

We saw our small town celebration, then hurried home to watch more explosives on television.

The best part was the traditional showing of the spectacle to Morty and my sweat socks.

God bless our true American pyros.


Barney Fife and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

Attaboy, Barney. 

"The Andy Griffith Show: Barney Fife and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution" via YouTube and Flashbacks.com


Porky Pig in 'Old Glory'

In 1939, young Porky Pig, the biggest Warner Bros. cartoon star of the day, went into patriotic mode for director Chuck Jones.

Porky Pig: "Old Glory" via YouTube

When I was a school boy, this atypical Merrie Melodies short popped up occasionally on television. I also caught it once or twice in a movie theatre. Even better, a 16mm color print appeared in the classroom from time to time.

Every Independence Day, my thoughts include Porky, role model.

I think about tater salad, too, but it never made a movie with Uncle Sam.

Originally published July 4, 2007


What the Heck Was I Thinking?

Actual Messages I Wrote, Forgot, Then Found While Cleaning Out My Correspondence Folders 


No, Bob, I did not get a Flowbee for Christmas. But Flo down at the diner be blowing stray hairs off my sammich. I was eternally grateful and had her comb my hashbrowns.


Fun Fact: FROGS (1972) stars Academy Award Winner Ray Milland, with an assist by those fresh-faced kids, Sam Elliott and Joan Van Ark. Details on cute frogs unavailable.


Major power outage this morning at 1:40. ... I phoned the EMC at 2:10, but the outtage had not been reported. I went to bed at 3 and think the lights came back on around 4, maybe later. These cats mocked me with their night vision.


Re: Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance Returns This March!

Yeah, you know it. Maybe I will be plucked out of the audience to join the kids onstage for a specialty!


Indeed. It is a dilemma.

I'm also hoping the puppet quotient is up.

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