Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crazy Eddie Video Game Ad 1982

I love this Christmas 1982 Crazy Eddie ad touting all the cool video game systems of the time. It's nice to see that Dan Aykroyd wasn't exaggerating too much when he parodyed him on Saturday Night Live in the '70's.

Star Wars Auditions

One of the cooler things to surface in the last ten years or so are the audition tapes for Star Wars. It's fascinating to see who might have played our favorite heroes. In hindsight it's obvious they picked the right people but it would have been interesting to see some of these other actors in the roles. The first tape is actor Andrew Stevens reading for the role of Luke.

It was a good thing he didn't play Luke. He made Mark Hamill look like Olivier. It's cool to see Harrison Ford read with some of these people. He did a lot of the readings for these tests and Lucas finally figured out he was the right guy for Han. Although if he hadn't worked out, this guy probably would have been pretty good.

Kurt Russell as Han Solo! That would have been pretty cool. Robby Benson also read for the Luke role. I'm really glad he didn't get it. He's too wimpy and I couldn't imagine wearing iron on T-shirts with him on them.

Of course we are know there was only one choice for Luke.

There were several choices for Leia as well. It's hard for me to imagine Cindy Williams as Leia but she did test for it, although Lucas had said he didn't want anybody from American Graffiti in Star Wars, even though he cast Harrison Ford.

She's actually not bad. Frederick Forest was reading the Han role in this test. He would have been quite the crusty Han Solo. Williams was probably also too old for the role. I think Carrie Fisher was definitely the right choice for the part.

Hopefully more of these tests will find the light of day soon. They're a fantastic glimpse into the making of the coolest movie of all time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vegas Hotel Ads 1965

I found these awesome ads for various Las Vegas hotels in the 1965 World Series program. Since Vegas is fairly close to LA and the Dodgers were in the Series that year, they probably figured it would be a good idea to advertise in the program. I really dig the baseball related ad for the legendary Sands.

You couldn't get more all-American than the Sands All Stars! This cool ad for the Dunes also appeared in the program.

This ad for the Riviera was a few pages down from the Dunes.

I doubt the Minnesota Twins' version of the program would have had ads for luxury hotels like these. They probably would have been more like this ad from a Kansas City Chiefs program a few years later.

Not that there's anything wrong with Travelodges. In fact, I think they're quite cool. I just can't picture Dean and Frank crooning in the lounge at the midtown Travelodge.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Space Program Postcards

I'm very interested in the 1960's Space Race and I've started to collect postcards from that era. There were many cards issued after the Mercury program got underway. I espcially like this one of the first three Americans to go into space.

The other one I have from the Mercury era is of Scott Carpenter preparing for his flight in 1962.

This cool card shows the blastoff of Gemini 4, sending Ed White and Jim McDivitt into space to preform the first American space walk in 1965.

This earthrise photo from the Apollo 8 mission in December, 1968 is probably the most well known image from the space program and with good reason.

Finally my favorite one shows Apollo 16 astronaut John Young saluting the flag on the surface of the moon in 1972.

My collection is woefully incomplete so I'll need to pick more up at the next postcard show that comes through town.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair Autograph

I was really happy to get this autographed picture of my all time favorite wrestler Ric Flair a few years ago. He was probably the cheesiest wrestler of all time. His interviews were classic. He recently retired and will definitely be missed.

International House Of Pancakes Ad 1977

I know they're still around but IHOP's today just aren't the same as they were 30 years ago. The distinctive building style of the restaurants fascinated me as a kid. And the food was pretty good too. This ad is from a 1977 Kansas City Chiefs program.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Taco Bell

I recently read a very cool book about the history of Taco Bell called Taco Titan by Debra Lee Baldwin. It had some very cool pictures of the classic Taco Bell restaurants of the '60's and 70's that I remember so well. This shot is from one of the first stores in the early '60's in California.

I loved that stand alone sign and was crushed when they replaced them. This shot is from an opening of a store in Anaheim, CA in 1967. Love the mascot!

Since everybody is so into the retro scene now, it would be cool if they opened some new restaurants with the old signage and mascot. I'd be there chowing down on cheap tacos all the time!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The 1978 Science Fiction Awards

On this fantastic site, they've posted the entire legendary 1978 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Awards show, originally broadcast on January 20, 1978. This show can't be easily described. Train wreck is a pretty good term. It featured several science fiction icons like Buster Crabbe, Mark Hamill, and of course the co-host of the evening, the great William Shatner, who undoubtably cemented his cheesy place in the sci-fi pantheon with this stellar performance.

As I said, there's tons of cheesy fun on this show and it's well worth sitting through the several parts of it. It made me realize yet again how cool and different the 70's were.

Sir Alec

One of my all time favorite actors is the great Sir Alec Guinness. Of course, I first became familiar with him as Ben Kenobi in Star Wars but he is also in another one of my favorite movies, Lawrence Of Arabia. He brought class and dignity to every role he played throughout his decades long career. He also had the greatest voice in movie history. I could listen to him reading the phone book and I'd be greatly entertained. He appeared on Late Night With David Letterman in 1986 to promote his then new biography. Here's the first part of that interview.

Unfortunately, the second part isn't up but I remember him talking a little about Star Wars and some of his other film work. You could tell Dave was excited about having him there.

A few years earlier he was awarded an honorary Oscar for his great service to the film industry. This is the footage from that night in 1980. He gives a gracious and humble acceptance speech after the strange intro by Dustin Hoffman. It definitely fit the man, one of the greatest actors of all time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

1960's Motel Grooviness

I was going through some of my parents' old pictures and found this super cool pic of my mom in front of this awesome 1960's era motel. The Googie style architecture is simply fantastic. I love the bright colors and space age look to the place. There's no description or date on the back but I'm sure it's the late 60's. I wish motels still looked like this. It's too bad most roadside motels now are pretty seedy. I'd stay at this place in a heartbeat.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mr. Steak Postcard 1960's

One of my favorite places to eat when I was a kid was Mr. Steak. It was a down home steakhouse that had a nice ambiance. We used to get coupons for a free meal on our birthdays so we'd go at least once a year. The food wasn't bad and the restaurant looked remarkably similar to this one from Sedalia, MO in the '60's. The Mr. Steak around here closed in the mid '90's but their I can still taste their steaks today.

Monkey Jungle Postcard 1960's

I don't know a whole lot about this primate inspired Florida tourist attraction but if there are monkeys in toy cars and spacesuits, I'm there!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Here's Johnny!

As I watch late night TV nowadays, I find that I miss the King Of Late Night more than ever. There is never going to be another Carson. I'm glad I picked up this mid 70's record at a flea market a few years ago. It contains great moments from the Tonight Show's history up to that time and it shows Johnny at his best in his monologues and interviews. My buddy made a CD of it for me and I bring it out when I need some good old fashioned laughs. It was well worth the couple of bucks I paid for it.

Houston Astrodome Postcard

This is one of my favorite 1960's icons. The Houston Astrodome was the world's first domed stadium. While they're passe now, in the mid-60's this thing was a work of art. I love the sleek space age look of it which went well with Houston becoming the home of NASA's Mission Control not long before this. It's and architechural icon that's still there to this day, although it's dwarfed by the new Reliant Stadium next door. I'd say this card is from the time it opened in 1965.

Mike Douglas Meets Han, Luke, And Leia

I was very excited when I saw this on Youtube a few months ago. It's Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher on the Mike Douglas Show from July 20, 1977, just a couple of months after Star Wars came out. It's a pretty interesting interview. Here's part 1.

It's great to see Harrison Ford being somewhat normal. He's kind of a creepy old man now, which makes me a little sad. Anyway, here's part 2.

It's great to get a look at the newness of the movie and the enthusisam they had for it before it became the mega industry it is now. I also dig Mark Hamill's Howard The Duck button. This is a classic look at my favorite movie.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hey Kool-Aid!

I was getting my bobbleheads out today and was reminded of one of my favorite TV commercials when I was a kid.

What a classic! I didn't drink a whole of it at home but my friends always had it. I always thought the charcter was better than the actual drink but I do enjoy them now and again. Here's a photo of the bobblehead, which came out a few years ago. It's one of my favorites.

Star Wars Deleted Scenes

I've always been fascinated by the scenes George Lucas cut out of Star Wars. Most of them had to do with Luke on Tatooine before the droids arrived toward the beginning of the movie. We get introduced to Luke's best friend Biggs, who's off to join the Rebel Alliance. I've always heard Lucas cut these scenes because they were slow but I always thought they helped establish Luke's character. Here's some grainy footage of these scenes.

I wish Lucas would have added this stuff to the Special Edition instead of the modern special effects which almost ruined the movie for me. At least we have some access to them.