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Nolan's Pop Culture Review
PCR Archives 2005
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The History of Miami International Airport -- Part One
 by William Moriaty

"King Kong"
 by Mike Smith

Rocky Balboa
 by Mark Terry

Thanks To All....King Kong News of Sorts....Alternate Covers Are Going APE....Monkey Around With The X-Men
 by Brandon Jones

Richard Pryor....It's Awards Time....Jaws: The Story, Part 47
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2005!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our sixth calendar year!
Number 299  (Vol. 6, No. 50). This edition is for the week of December 12--18, 2005.

Recoveries and Reflections

  • The Death of Richard Pryor
    • The CF Message Board Returns!
    • New Paranormal Section of CF
    • The Return of "Splash Page"
  • Just after last week's PCR was put to bed word came over the wires of the sad death of groundbreaking comedian Richard Pryor at the age of 65.

    Several things flashed through my mind instantly. His first appearances on Ed Sullivan, Merv Griffin and the like. His movies like Car Wash, Stir Crazy and Silver Streak. That awful cocaine freebasing incident in 1980 that nearly killed him when it severely burned half of his body. And of course his sad, sad, physical degeneration due to Multiple Sclerosis, a disease he battled since the early '90s (but actually diagnosed in the late '80s).

    One of the handful of those pioneer comedians in the '70s to break away from traditional stand-up (i.e., the Henny Youngman-type), into what we now know as stand-up (that I personally trace back to Robert Klein and George Carlin), Pryor was among the most influential black comedians to make use of personal anecdotes, pain and tragedies (like fellow trendsetter Bill Cosby) and to pepper his monologues with often profane street language (which Cosby did not). You got the feeling with Pryor that this is as low-down, and street-wise as it gets. Pryor's poor background certainly gave him much grist for his mill (I believe his mother was a prostitute). This approach almost certainly helped pave the way for future superstars Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock (and to a lesser extent Jimmy "JJ" Walker), and the like.

    I must confess I was never a huge fan of his movies because they didn't really showcase him in his natural element which was the stand-up comedy stage. His turn as the inadvertant villain in the dreadful Superman III is a particularly potent example, although I guess he did the best he could with lame material. Stir Crazy got it a little closer. To me, Harlem Nights and Carwash were forgettable.

    I do remember liking his 1977 TV show, "The Richard Pryor Show", though even then, we all wondered how he'd be censored. He didn't tone things down after he became famous. He threatened to cancel his contract with NBC when the censors objected to a skit in which he appeared naked save for a flesh-colored loincloth to suggest he was emasculated.

    Pryor also wrote scripts for the television series "Sanford and Son," "The Flip Wilson Show" and two specials for Lily Tomlin. He collaborated with Mel Brooks on the script for the movie "Blazing Saddles."

    Recognition came in 1998 from an unlikely source: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington gave Pryor the first Mark Twain Prize for humor. He said in a statement that he was proud that, "like Mark Twain, I have been able to use humor to lessen people's hatred."

    Richard Pryor, the Peoria, Illinois boy who grew up in his grandothers's brothel and turned his pain into comedy, fame and fortune has left this plane of reality forever. His is one of a rare breed from a generation of groundbreakers and he will be sorely missed.

    The Crazed Fanboy Message Board Back From Limbo
    The Crazed Fanboy Message Board, hacked into by a terrorist (or infected by a PHP-detecting worm depending on who you ask), defaced and corrupted beyond usability November 29th is BACK ONLINE. I have to say the message board is the singularly most beat-up section of Crazed Fanboy, so I know people are paying attention, but my god, what a pain in the ass to manage.

    A little history. I first installed the forum on my servers in March 2004. Then in October 2004, it developed an error that caused the board to be unreadable, This, however, was remedied by a few good people down at tech support, so it was down only a couple of days. But in December 2004 (a year ago this week, in fact), the entire server crashed hard (hardware system failure), causing Crazed Fanboy, yes, the entire website, not just the message board, to go completely dark. Gone. Erased. It took about a week before I could re-upload the majority of the website and re-install the board. Unfortunately I never kept database back-ups, so the board started anew and everyone had to re-register.

    This most recent debacle with the board was detailed in PCR #298. The delay in re-installing had to due with, in my opinion, the damage done to the original database. A new one had to be secured, which it was, so now we're back in operation. Unfortunately, once again, the gremlins have interefered with restoring this year's database which I did save--only to fail to install on the three attempts I made. However....some parts are readable in Windows NotePad or WordPad, so I may be able to somewhat reconstruct "classic" forums manually, but we'll see.

    New UFO and Paranormal Section on Crazed Fanboy
    This is something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. As long-time readers know, fellow PCR writer William Moriaty (La Floridiana) and I have shared a life-long fascination with the paranormal, UFOs, ghosts, and conspiracies. I've just set up a new section for this, that for the moment, is merely an index of everything we've ever written about the subjects here on Crazed Fanboy (I'm still locating all columns). In time, it will expand to feature original articles and interviews, much like the "Spotlight" interview series. Extremely long-time readers may recognize the little UFO animation I featured on my original AOL homepage a zillion years ago when I first started out. Check it out!
    The Return of Brandon Jones' Splash Page!
    Long absent from the pages of PCR and the CF message board due to circumstances beyond his control, the inimitable Brandon Jones, his life slowly coming back together again, has graced us with a new Splash Page! Also, Bran says he'll start raising controversy on the message board just as soon as possible. Gawd knows we've got a lot of politics stirring out there. I know I'm looking forward to it!
    Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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    "Mike's Rant" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2005 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2005 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Creature's Corner" is ©2005 by John Lewis    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2005 by Vinnie Blesi    "My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours" is ©2005 by Mark Terry      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova    
    Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova

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