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Now in our sixth calendar year
PCR #253  (Vol. 6, No. 4)  This edition is for the week of January 24--30, 2005.

"Million Dollar Baby"
 by Mike Smith
Goodnight, Johnny....Got the Clap?....Off Beat Cinema '05
 by Andy Lalino
Megacon: Looking Ahead to Wolfman & Perez....Get it While You Can....Things I Didn’t Know But Probably Should Have....Here’s To Johnny and “Slick”
 by Brandon Jones
Heeeere's Johnny!...Rondo Awards Nominations Are Out....Football Fabulah
 by Matt Drinnenberg
In Memory Of....It Was A "Y" for Yale....It's Razzie Time....Dick, Perry, and Friends....It Was 20 years Ago Today....Jaws: The Story, Part 3
 by Mike Smith
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Andy Lalino
Oddservations by Andy Lalino

Goodnight, Johnny
Like most Americans, I spent Sunday and yesterday mourning the loss of Johnny Carson, the king of late night talk shows. It would take hours; no, perhaps days to describe the innumerable delights I experienced over the years ('70s-'90s) as a frequent viewer of The Tonight Show. From Karnak to Joan Embry's animal guests, Carson provided some of TV's most hilarious moments. He was the highest class act who never failed to entertain (except on Mondays, when David Brenner or Joan Rivers would guest host) to the utmost of his abilities. Who can ever forget the opening of The Tonight Show when Doc Severinson and the band would kick the theme in, then Johnny would appear from behind the multi-colored curtain? The Tonight Show was a TV institution of the highest order, and launched the careers of countess comedians; one of them (Jay Leno) would eventually take over the reigns (ugh) when Johnny left the show in 1992.

Some of the greatest memories I had from The Tonight Show were: - When Carson/Ed McMahon did the "Karnak" sketch. I loved when McMahon repeated the question! Then, Karnak would curse him. The questions were kept in a "hermetically sealed" mayonnaise jar! Do you remember when McMahon would say: "I hold in my hand the last question!", and the audience would applaud! Then, Karnak would put a curse on the audience! I was in tears... - It was always a riot when Carson would have animals on, usually courtesy of Joan Embry, because they were so unpredictable. I recall an orangutan falling asleep in Carson's lap. - There were great comedy sketches between Johnny's opening monologue and the first guest. These provided some of the greatest Tonight Show moments. Carson was a great physical comedian; you wouldn't have known it because he kept mostly behind a desk. - Carson was the master of the comedic monologue. He was always better at it than David Letterman. Even when a joke tanked, he was able to pull out of it with an even funnier audience comeback.

I remember watching the last Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1992. You can purchase the final episode DVD, but what they did not include on the DVD that the original broadcast did was one simple thing. Right after Johnny said his goodbyes, the cameras did not stay on him. Rather, they showed the faces of people in the audience as they clapped and said their goodbyes. Face after face of people who represented us, the millions who watched The Tonight Show regularly and were now saying goodbye. I remember being so blown away, that I will never forget that moment. It wasn't about Johnny or his ego, it was about the people that he entertained.

A true gentleman to the end. So glad we had this time together.

Got the Clap?
While I was watching President Bush's inaugural, I noted that his daughter Jenna (is she the blonde-ish one?) was a distinct awkward clapper. When I thought about it some more, I recall many scenarios when I encountered people who really don't know how to clap or clap clumsily. They're usually women. I mean; you expect women to have natural grace, yet some of them look utterly idiotic when they clap.

Take Jenna Bush for example; she claps as if an imaginary hunk of ground beef was floating about her abdomen and she's trying to smush it down into a patty with her hands. That's not how you clap!

The next time you're in an audience and see someone who looks awkward and ridiculous when they clap, you owe it to them to say "Hey, I noticed you look really stupid when you clap. Don't you know how to clap, lady? Look around you; there are hundreds of people who obviously know how to clap. Where did you learn to clap; at Nina Harris?"

You should then proceed to demonstrate the fine art of clapping - keep your forearms at a forty-five degree angle (most bad clappers clap in either a totally horizontal position - like Jenna Bush - or a total vertical position - WRONG!) and clap for them. Another point: a clap is not successful unless you make a lot of noise with that clap.

For crying out loud - learn how to clap!

Off Beat Cinema '05
In case you missed it, WTSP TV's long-running late night horror show Off Beat Cinema has been showing some ultra-great creature feature flicks over the past few months. Frankly, I'm surprised that local Crazed Fanboys either don't know about the show or are ambivalent. It's the closest thing we have to a horror host format, despite the fact the hosts are beatniks and not ghouls. I think we should support Off Beat Cinema with a vengeance.

For those in the black, it's a two-hour show which usually features old horror and sci-fi films (sometimes art films) hosted by 3 hip beatniks: Maxwell Truth, Zelda, and Bird. Off Beat Cinema originates from Buffalo, New York. Occasionally, the show will feature interviews with Buffalo area artists and musical guests; one of the finest moments being 10,000 Maniacs performing Roxy Music's "More Than This" - unforgettable. It airs very early on Saturday mornings (late Friday night, if you will) from 3:00am to 5:00am on WTSP (a local station; you don't need cable TV). This, obviously, is very late for some people, so set your VCRs. The show has been on for many years - and may it enjoy an even longer run.

Here are just some of the great fright/B-movie flicks they've been airing over the past month:

  • "Bloodlust" (1/22/05): A horror takeoff on "The Most Dangerous Game"
  • "Wild Guitar" (1/15/05): A very timely N'sPCR topic considering both Ed Tucker, Vito Trabucco, and Mark Terry have recently met Ray Dennis Steckler. Vito and Mark also got the chance to mingle with Arch Hall Jr. too.
  • "Terror Creatures from the Grave" (11/13/04): Starring Barbara Steele.
  • "The Ghost" (11/6/04)
  • "The She Beast" (Halloween '04)

    ...and check out what's coming up later this year!

  • "The Screaming Skull"
  • "She Gods of Barrier Reef"
  • "Horror Hotel"
  • "Devil Girl from Mars"
  • "Night Tide"
  • "War of the Monsters"
  • "Reefer Madness"
  • "Horror Express"

    I mean, where are you ever going to see some of these great flicks?!? Plus, they're hosted by some real hip cats! This week's (1/29/05) flick will be the 1962 pseudo sci-fi film "This Is Not a Test". Don't miss.

    For more info:
    Official Off Beat Cinema Website:

    WTSP TV website:

    To send an e-mail thanking WTSP for carrying OBC, write:

    "Oddservations" is ©2005 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.