Monday, June 9, 2008

Why The F Not?

I'll tell you why the F not, because that's today's letter. F! I hope no one out there got any this semester.

Futurama: One of my favorite animated shows of all time, combining the hilarity of the Simpsons and Science Fiction that had far surpassed Geekery and emerges in Nerd territory. Like another F-lettered series Family Guy, it premiered in 1999 and, while gaining a cult following, was shamefully cancelled by the "brilliant" Fox Execs after four production seasons. Also like Family Guy, years of reruns and excellent DVD sales (not to mention a few Molotov Cocktails not, um, tossed by me) have prompted a long-awaited revival. But unlike FG, where it continues to the point where we almost regret bringing it back, the show has come back in four Direct-To-DVD movies that will be aired on Comedy Central.

The first movie "Bender's Big Score," has already come and gone, but the second entry "Beast With A Billion Backs" hits stores June 24! I assure you that I'll be first on line for that one.

Fozzie Bear: Anyone who knows the muppets knows Fozzie Bear, the wisecracking jokester on The Muppet Show and beyond. Performed by by the incredible Frank Oz (another F!), this character rose from a hapless background comic relief in Season 1 to the Superstar he is today. The inadvertent bane of Statler & Waldorf's existences, the Muppet Show audience seems to like him more than Gonzo's acts but slightly below Marvin Suggs, and have been known to erupt into cheer whenever news breaks that he is unable to perform.

I'm beginning to wonder when Fozzie first adopts his catchphrase "Wokka Wokka Wokka!" I'm about 3/4 into watching the 3rd season of the Muppet Show on DVD (his face adorns the cover to boot!) and he has yet to utter it.

Feasting on Asphalt: One of Alton Brown's signature shows on Food Network. I mentioned this briefly in the A entry, but I haven't gone into detail. After watching the mini-marathon of Season 2 on Saturday, I have truly realized how great this series is. It's a travelogue miniseries where Alton and an entourage of his buddies travel along the Mississippi River coast on motorcycles searching for great food destinations. Did I mention that he narrates the whole thing, still keeping up with his wit and awesome geekishness? You should have seen my face when wandering through a Border's one day to stumble upon Feasting on Asphalt: The Book! I'd want him to read the audiobook version, but I soon realized that it would completely defeat the purpose of watching the tv show

Among the locations that Alton visits in the episode that I managed to catch in the 1am rerun are the birthplace of Popeye The Sailor with a giant statue erected in his honor. Alton a few of his crew take part in a tribute meal of the consumption of Popeye brand Canned Spinach right next to the statue. Lucky Bastard.

He also visits the town of Alton, Illinois where he was horrified to discover that he had been pronouncing his name incorrectly his whole life (Al-Ton as opposed to Awl-Ton), and visits the Pie-Town restaurant that serves excellent pies as well as "The Best Pecan Pie North of The Mason-Dixon." He mentions that his rapper name would be Pie-Town. I would totally buy an album with that name, even if he currently needs no help doing so as is.

Free Food: The two greatest words in the college language. At my college, any mention of "Free Food" will send people running in anticipation no matter what's being given away. A one or two dollar "donation" is usually a deal-breaker for me. Hell, in this economy, free anything is a plus. Free ketchup? I'm there! Free mints? Sign me up! Free wet napkins? Damn, call the pit boss, I just won the fucking lottery!!

Freakazoid: Like Earthworm Jim in the previous post, this cartoon was also one of the original shows in the Kids' WB Lineup. Once again, it was short-lived and underrated. Created by Bruce Timm, who was also the mastermind behind the Superman, Batman, and Justice League series of recent date (hell, the whole DCAU), it was seemingly the corner stone of the superhero awesomeness that was to come. Fortunately for us, what we received was one of the most hilariously bizarre shows to ever emerge from the 90s that had not been seen before, and sadly since. It involved a computer nerd named Dexter Douglas receiving a manic alter-ego after accidentally inputting a special code sequence that pulled him into the Internet of 1995, and using this new persona to save the world only he knew how.

He was more insane and funny than super-powered, but he definitely had powers of his own. He had wit, he had blue skin, he had speed, he could almost fly (consisting of running around while holding out his arms), and would usually defeat villains by yelling at them. His best friends were his girlfriend Stef, Police Sergeant Cosgrove (voiced and designed after Ed Asner), his butler Professor Jenkins (Richard Harris) and his "driving instructor" Roddy McStew (voiced by pre-Drew Carey Show & talk show host Craig Ferguson). Other reoccurring characters on his show included Fanboy (played by Flounder from Animal House), Foamy The Freakadog, the Monty Python-Esque Lord Bravery, The Huntsman (whose cartoons only involved him reacting to a false alarm of his Horn of Urgency) and Emmit Neverend, a strange non-speaking character that appears somewhere in every episode to create a elaborate geekish "Where's Waldo?" game. Among the villains he fought were The Lobe, Cave Guy, Arms Akimbo (a con artist whose arms are frozen in the hands-on-hips position), and *whispers* Candle Jack...

This show was originally on an old list of mine of Cartoons That Aren't On DVD (But Should Be). All my firebombing at WB seems to have paid off as a Season 1 release has finally been confirmed for July! I strongly believe that the kids of today are maldeveloped due to the lack of exposure to this great show. Now they'll finally be enriched in their dull lives!

Ok, I'm obviously not getting the message out by writing about it, just watch this video:

[F is also for Four, the number of times Emmit Neverend appears in the above video]


Dan said...

Can I just say again how much Alton Brown rocks? Having been to and lived near Alton IL, they do indeed pronounce it Awl-ton. I had to train myself to pronounce his name correctly after years of saying it this way.
And thanks for the info on Freakazoid on DVD, I love that show!

JoshC said...

I don't think I've ever seen an episode of Frakazoid, I think I'd remember something that looks that awesome, I'm defenetly going to pick up the DVD's.
Who is this Alton Brown character?

Anonymous said...

Dude, you've been cranking out the great posts! I'll be back after I get through them.

DC said...

I loved Futurama! Bender was the best. You can't get any better than an alcoholic robot!