Rudy and Gogo’s Flamin’ Cheese Ball (Cheese, goats and funny puppets for New Years!)

Sunday, December 31st, 2023 12:02 pm.

Have you ever gotten a cheese ball for a New Year’s party, and you’re all proud that you got one, but nobody gives a shit about the cheese ball?
I would say that’s a thing that you only really care about when you get older, but NOT FOR ME!!
I actually would buy these balls even when I was having parties in college! (And, yes, I bought another one this year. This one has bacon in it!)
I blame my cheese ball obsession with a TV special from probably the 96-97 New Year’s Eve.
You see, In the 90’s, they had this show on TNT called Rudy and Gogo’s World Famous Cartoon Show. It was created and voiced by Barry Mills and Jack Pendarvis, who went on to other success, with Adult Swim, Adventure Time and SpongeBob, respectively.
Rudy and GoGo was mostly just puppets jumping in a swirling void and screaming. (A bit like a more friendly version of “Candle Cove,”if you know what that is, except this thing actually happened.)
The host Puppet was named Rowdy Rudy Moore. He was, obviously, named after Rudy Ray Moore, who was the star of Dolemite(1975) and The Human Tornado(1976), and other Blaxploitation movies.
The character, Rudy, on this show though, is not the one who gives the strong Black representation. Rudy was actually a super white puppet who looked like a mix of Conan O’brien and Howdy Doody. His best friend, though, was Jumpin’ JB Weaver, who is a Black puppet, and gave kid’s lessons about Black History.

That may already sound pretty diverse, but it gets more diverse.

Their pet is GoGo Goat. She was…well she was a goat, played by black and white footage of a goat. She ran for president once! (Some might consider this show a bit odd,but I don’t see that. It got very popular on college campuses!)

They had a puppet skeleton friend named Boney Bonerton who would occasionally interrupt the show to promote his album “Boney Bonerton Just sings” (Which sounded good but I don’t think it was real.)

You can read about the show on it’s Wikipedia page:

The crux of the show was that, normally, Rudy and GoGo would show old Popeye cartoons, and Little Rascals shorts owned by Ted Turner. But, this one time, they let the puppets stay up late and do a marathon of cheesy movies owned by Ted Turner!

Ted Turner was running TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and CNN. But I don’t think he paid attention to anything other than CNN, because you got great shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast on Cartoon Network and THIS thing on TNT!

Now I’m gonna try to remember the movies that were on this marathon:

WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH: This is the ONLY movie I didn’t see on this marathon. I still haven’t seen it,
but, from what I know, it’s pretty much like One Million Years BC with Raquel Welch, except without Raquel Welch. And the effects weren’t by Ray Harryhausen, so, it can’t be as good, but it’s a cave girl vs. dinosaurs movie by Hammer studios from 1970, which automatically makes it better than most movies coming out today.

THE BLOB: Now, this one, I’ve seen MANY times. At family gatherings, every time my uncle would say Bullitt was the best Steve Mcqueen movie, I would bring up THE BLOB and he would get upset and have another drink. There was a pretty crappy sequel in the 70’s (Directed by Genie’s lover, Larry Hagman!) and a pretty decent remake in the the 80’s,but this is the one you should watch instead of Bullitt.

QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE: There is a LOT to unpack about this movie. It stars Zsa Zsa Gabor. She actually isn’t the Queen of Outer Space. Zsa Zaa Gabaor was a big deal in the 60’s. She was on the last episode of BATMAN! I liked her sister, Eva, even more! She was in GREEN ACRES. (Which may not sound as cool as BATMAN, but it was.)
I’m told a lot of gay people like this movie, and a lot of gay people like Batman.
More power to them. I don’t know much about that, but I know this movie has an amazingly crappy spider puppet.(I always love movies with those. I actually know the other movies this particular spider was in, but I talk enough about puppets in this column, so, I’ll save that for another day.) I’ve read that this movie was written badly on PURPOSE! So it’s supposed to suck! But if you watch it, you won’t be able to tell if it accidently sucked or tried to. It was like the Sharknado of the 50’s.

I saved the best for last.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!: This movie was filmed in Supermarionation. You might think you don’t know what Supermarionation is,but you probably do. When the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, made the movie Team America: World Police. they filmed it in Supermarionation. I think it was supposed to be a tribute to Jerry and Sylvia Anderson, a British couple who made these weird puppety tv shows and movies.
It’s about the Tracy family, a team of marionette superheros. They live on Tracy Island and they fly jets, and fight bad guys when they have to. It’s a pretty common story, but the puppets make it work. They tried to remake it with people, in the 2000’s, but that DID NOT work. You need the Supermarionation. It’s the kind of story that only works with super-charged marionettes, and Rudy and J.B are just that, a weird-ass combination of marionettes and puppets. (I wish some guy would have come up with a name for that!)

And maybe this marathon needed Rudy and Gogo to make it work. I would have watched these movies either way, but they made it even cooler.

So, without any further ado, to prove it happened, allow me to present to you a promo for The Rudy And Gogo’s Flaming Cheese Ball special. (And please don’t set your cheeseball on fire this year! Especially if it has bacon in it!)


A Very Judge Reinhold Christmas

Tuesday, December 26th, 2023 11:38 pm.

It’s after midnight on Christmas, so, technically, yesterday was Christmas, but I still feel like typing, so let’s talk about Judge Reinhold!
Judge Reinhold has one of the weirdest names ever, and this is coming from someone whose actual birth name is Nick Moose! (I call myself that, but my real name is Derek Reindeer. I really should be using that now for Christmas!)
it looks like Judge is going to be reprising his role of Billy Rosewood in the next Beverley Hills Cop movie, which I guess is a Netflix exclusive? (Odd choice), but I’m sure we all remember him best as “that asshole who is in Gremlins for like, less than two minutes.”
No, I’m kidding. Of course, we all remember him best for masturbating to Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (I mean EVERYBODY masturbated to Pheobe Cates back then, but she actually walked in on him doing it so it was kind of embarrassing.)
Phoebe was also in Gremlins but she had an actual part to play in the movie. She dates Zach Galligan, tends Dory’s Bar, and tells that traumatizing story about her dad, dressed as Santa, getting stuck in the chimney and dying. She had A LOT to do!!
Meanwhile, Judge Reinhold played Gerald, the douchenozzle bank manager? I guess. I dunno. Most of his scenes were cut. So, I’m not even really sure what his job is at the bank. He doesn’t have the authority to fire Billy, Zach Galligan’s character, but he goes to drink at Dory’s Tavern and mocks him for letting his dog smash Mrs. Deagle’s snowman head, and how, if he were the boss, he would have fired him.
Technically, Billy probably should have been fired for bringing his dog to work, but we are still supposed to hate Gerald for expressing this. But that isn’t enough. He then goes on to still be a thundering douche for the rest of the scene, ordering a vodka martini, “Shake. Don’t stir.” Yes, he says it that way.
According to the audio commentary (Yes, I watched the audio commentary MULTIPLE TIMES! ) Judge Reinhold refused to say “Shaken, not stirred.” So, he said his much more iconic “Shake don’t stir” instead. I dunno. Did he think that would make his character seem like less of an asshole? Because I think that makes him worse.
I once ordered a “Shaken not stirred” at a bar, but this was because my friends and I went dressed as three different versions of James Bond. Of course, the bartender girl wanted to murder me, but how much worse would it have been if I got the line wrong? I think, at that point, you should just be refused service.
Yet, this is one of the moments they left in the movie for the Gerald character. But another is far better. It’s when he walks up to Billy and brushes past a disgruntled cartoonist at the bar, who is CHUCK JONES!!
(Now, since I just mentioned Chuck Jones, and this is going to be my Christmas column, I have to take a brief interlude to say I’m STILL looking for an Arby’s Christmas ornament of Bugs Bunny in a Santa suit from the 80’s. I have a treasured nutcracker Porky, and an elf Tweety from Arby’s, but the Santa Bugs still eludes me. If you have one, help me! Make my tree complete!! Think about other people this Christmas! Like me!)
Chuck Jones is clearly not happy to see Gerald, as he says his name in a frumpy “Gerald” way, but Gerald goes on to his douchbaggery and after that….we never see him again.
This really isn’t an uncommon thing for the movie Gremlins. Remember Corey Feldman’s character?
He is shown to be Billy’s best friend for a minute (Even though there is a weird 10 year age difference, but Corey would get really used to that after he met Michael Jackson.) Then you really only see hm one more time, shooting a slingshot at the Gremlins. So, he’s not COMPLETELY forgotten, like Gerald. (BTW, I’m told Corey Feldman is the opening act for Limp Bizkit’s next tour. Think about that and go have a good, hard, healing cry.)
Joe Dante is easily one of my favorite directors. I mean, he did the Gremlins movies, The Howling, Matinee, (Not only did he direct Matinee but he also directed the movie within a movie for Matinee: MANT! Which is a tribute to 50’s shlock classics, and is much better than most actual movies.) He also runs one of my favorite websites, Trailers From Hell. So, my point is, the guy is smart. I believe he did film Gerald’s comeuppance (I’m SURE it was in the script by Chris Columbus.) but it was sadly left on the cutting room floor. (It might be a special feature on the DVD. I have never checked, and I think Joe Dante may be a producer and/or director on the new Gremlins HBO Max animated series, but I also have yet to check that out.)
You know, I saw the first Santa Clause back in the day, with my dearly departed Gramps, and I only remember ONE thing about it.
One thing was that Judge Reinhold played a dickhead again, and the other thing is that his character hated Santa because he never brought him an Oscar Mayer Weenie Whistle.
(SPOILER ALERET) When Tim Allen’s character takes over the Santa job, Judge Reinhold’s character gets the Weenie Whistle.
( FUN FACT: I have a Weenie Whistle! I’ve always been a fan of classic advertising products, and they never let me drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, so, I settled for the whistle. I found it at a retro toy store, and now it resides on a shelf with some of the way too many PEZ dispensers I have.)
Anyway, one way or the other, we need closure for Gerald, Judge’s Gremlin’s character. So, I hereby propose to Judge Reinhold this: You, Judge, come to my house, we make a short film where you just open my front door, say, “Hey, Billy, what’s going on? What are these!?” then, my friends and I will throw a bunch of Gremlins toys at you, and you say “Gaaah!” and fall down.
Or, I’ll just give you my Oscar Mayer weenie whistle. (And no, that is not a euphemism.)
It’s a Wonderful Life is actually my favorite Christmas movie, but they SHOW CLIPS of It’s A Wonderful Life in Gremlns So, it’s a twofer.
Gremlins came out the same day as Ghostbusters. If I had a choice, I would go to see Ghostbusters. But still, Gremlins is pretty damn awesome.
Oh, and TBS! You should show Gremlins 24 hours a day instead of A Christmas Story.


Sunday, December 10th, 2023 1:41 am.

This is the year of “Did I do That To Christmas?: Urkel Saves Santa.” Which doesn’t look so bad from what I’ve seen of it so far.
And I’m assuming, if you are reading this website you probably own at least one Urkel doll, which is great, but some of us come upon our Urkel dolls under decidedly unusual circumstances.
For instance, I got my Urkel doll from my neighbor, a very sweet, very old, hearing impaired lady. I have no idea why she had one (She probably couldn’t hear it talking.) and, more importantly, I have no idea why I didn’t already have one.
The thing is, when you get a secondhand Urkel doll, it will never, EVER have its glasses.
I defy you to find one in the wild with glasses. For some inexplicable reason, they decided to manufacture the Urkel doll with removable glasses pretty much guaranteeing they will be separated from the figure at some point and never be found again.
Now, I have a long history of losing important toy accessories. I still can’t find the sword for my original He-Man, I accidentally flushed my Mr. Potato Head’s pipe down the toilet, and I shit you not, I accidentally dropped my Splinter’s cane into a Perfection game. Like, if you rattle the Perfection game you can still hear the cane mocking you in there.
But this Urkel doll glasses thing was not my fault. It was Mrs. Morton’s fault. (She must have played with that so hard, so often, and taken everywhere she went.)
But an Urkel doll without its glasses is not useless. It still talks when you pull the string, with classic like “Got any cheese?” and “Did I do that?” but what shocks me is they never made a Carl Winslow doll to be an annoyed companion, to say “GO HOME! GO HOME! GO HOME!” (My friend tells me Reginald VelJohnson is currently starring in a cartoon called Invincible where plays the principal of Reginald VelJohnson High School, and that sounds like something I definitely need to watch right now. So, I don’t why I’m wasting time writing this instead of doing that.)
Full House got a sequel,”Fuller House” and I think the only reason Family Matters has not gotten a sequel show called “MOORE Family Matters” is because Jaleel White just does not want to play Steve Urkel anymore.
This is too bad because, Steve Urkel and Carl Winslow were the Laurel and Hardy for us Millennials. (Jaleel even said that’s what he was going for, a combination of Laurel and Hardy and Ed Grimley.)
Most TGIF shows shows did not age well, but try watching the Family Matters episode where Carl tries to help Steve learn to drive. It’s impossible not to laugh. (Well, until the part where Carl has a minor heart attack, but every TGIF show had to have an important message.)
The other funniest part of the show was Waldo Geraldo Faldo. Come to think, I don’t know why they didn’t make a talking Waldo doll. Pull the string and it says “I may get F’s, but by God, I EARN them!” (A phrase I’ve incorporated handily into my own life.)
So, the moral of this article is, if you’re looking for a Christmas present for me, which I’m sure you are, think URKEL DOLL GLASSES! I don’t need the whole doll, as I’ve said, just the glasses! (Remember to think of others this Holiday season. There are people staving and people who need Urkel glasses!) Or, if you “got any cheese,” I’d be happy to have some of that too.

(Here is a picture of another Urkel doll tragically missing it’s glasses. You can see the hole in his forehead where you’re supposed to plug the glasses in.)

R.I.P Marty

Monday, December 4th, 2023 10:02 pm.

Marty Krofft died the other day.
I wasn’t alive yet back when the shows of Sid and Marty Krofft dominated Saturday morning television. (But I am old enough to remember when Saturday morning kids’ shows were a thing, so I think that still counts as me being old.)
My personal first encounter with the world of Sid and Marty Krofft was in 1995, when Nick at Nite aired a special television block called PUF-A-PALOOZA.(Nick at Nite used to do a LOT of awesome stuff but this is the only event I’ll be enthusing about in this particular article.)
Puf-A-Palooza really introduced me to H.R Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost (Other than the Land of the Lost reboot show from the early 90’s which most people choose to forget about but which was really pretty decent.)
Then, later that year, we got Cartoon Network on my TV, and early Cartoon Network showed a LOT of old Hanna-Barbera shows, one of which was THE BANNANA SPLITS!
The Banna Splits was the first TV show the Krofft Bros did, and there is not enough room on the internet to talk about how sweet that show was. But if you’ve never seen it, imagine the Monkees, but guys in mascot costumes, playing songs written by Barry White. (That is actually a completely accurate description of the show.)
So, I have seen all these amazing retro shows the Krofts were behind and, as I was growing up, I wanted to collect the DVDS and look up interviews on YouTube of the bros. Ultimately, what I came to find was that Sid was the creative guy and Marty was the business guy.
Everyone always thought they were on drugs for coming up with such whacked out shows, but I think really only Sid was.
Marty was the hard-ass. He made sure they were able to actually get these shows on the air.
I can imagine, the day before H.R Pufnstuf being pitched, Marty yealling at Sid. “You call this thing a dragon!? We gotta pitch this to NBC in a couple hours!!”
I mean, a bunch of them were probably a hard sell (LIDSVILLE! IT’S A SHOW ABOUT HAT PEOPLE! JUST TAKE IT!) but after H.R Pfnstuf became a success it probably got easier for him.
The thing is, I think a lot of us creative types wish we had a brother like Marty, someone who could reign us in a bit.
Who knows, maybe if I hadn’t been an only child my life would have turned out differently, and my brother would have been a Marty, and I could have sold Rock ‘N’ Roll Porpoise Man to a major network! (Well, TV is kinda dead now, but still, it’s always good to have someone to reign me in.)
Now, Marty, it will be frustrating for you, but, eventually Sid will meet you in the afterlife, and this whole thing is gonna start over again! So R.I.P until then!

(Update: Also an R.I.P to Norman Lear who died a couple days after I wrote this. Lear really did change the face of television, but I think if I’m going to eulogize a 70’s TV producer, Marty Krofft seems more appropriate for this site.)