Meanwhile, while John McClane was unloading Honey Nut Cheerios of Death at 120 MPH into some terrorist flesh back at Nakatomi…
…the price of unleaded gasoline in So-Cal in 1988 was 74 cents per gallon! Fast Forward to This Date in 2012: The price has become so outrageous, one can actually hear Skeletor laughing as we hang our heads at the pump. Bruce Willis battles little Cobra Commander and prepares for an awkward fifth dance with the “Die Hard” franchise. Al Powell, quietly extract your firearm from its holster, aim at the Quagmire of Status Quo, cock the hammer, and throw the big stinkin’ Twinkie.
Now we can progress to more interesting fare –
Yabba-Dabba-Do, Scrambled Eggs, and Hummus: The Top Three Pop Culture Team-Ups of the Twentieth Century –
#3: Mickey, Davy, Peter, Wool Hat, and Jack – The Monkees Meet Jack Nicholson:
Jack is googly-eyed for Davy, thinking, “That’s the first one I’m gonna take.” Jack and Bob Rafelson wrote and produced 1968’s “Head”, a surreal, disjointed mash of Concert Movie and Freakout Zone starring the Monkees, whose TV show had just been liquidated from the NBC 68-69 fall line-up. Friction in the ranks? The facade had failed? Listlessness? The reasons for the demise are a gaggle of runaway brides. My personal belief is the cancellation of ABC’s “Batman”, which maintained a Yankees/Red Sox relationship with the Fab(ricated) Four from 1966-1968, made the demise of “The Monkees” an easily-swallowed pill. Mickey, Davy, etc. had big plans that grew beyond the chaperoned middle-school dance of television, and Mr. Nicholson, eager to expand his repertoire, hurled himself into Slamdance City. Alas and alack, the movie could only be appreciated by those who sniffed magic markers or licked postage stamps (WOKKA WOKKA WOKKA NUDGE NUDGE) at 30-second intervals throughout its run, and future cinematic enterprises, if conjured by a Monkee or two or three or four, were crushed like Count Viggo in the Lincoln Tunnel (<—there's that "Daylight" reference you ordered!). Mickey did voice-over work, Peter removed his shoes and was eaten by Greenwich Village, Davy hung with Marcia Brady and Scooby-Doo, and Mike grew a beard. The future of young writer Jack Nicholson?? Moderate success. MODERATE. Draw your swords and spew invectives if ye please, but Killshot Carl Winslow's on speed-dial…
#2 Mr. Rogers Meets The Incredible Hulk:
Captain Kangaroo was going to burn at the touch of the Man-Thing, but…well…you can’t compete with this team-up, Cap. Mr. Rogers and Speedy McFeely bounced into Tinseltown to chat with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno about the differences between The Collective Awesomeness of Their Existences and The Near-Suicidal Turdfest of Your Life…i mean, the differences between real and make-believe. From the Elseworlds files: in 1987, an episode of “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” featured Pee-Wee, Randy and Clocky meeting the A-Team as they battled gum disease and a gang of arcade thugs. By the by, writing this post while listening to Pandora bashing my ear caverns with Amon Amarth, Anaal Nathrakh, Bolt Thrower, and Valient Thorr (coupled with the empanada/mac-n-cheese sandwich eaten while composing the previous paragraph) is inexplicably obfuscating my rationale with images of an angry, pacing Felix the Cat, which I must say outscores the Korean hip-hop tantrums regardless of perspective.
#1 Scooby-Doo Meets Batman:
Batman and Robin had been given the Filmation treatment in the late 60s with resounding success, and Scooby’s 1st season with the Creeper, the Ghost Clown, the Ghost of Captain Redbeard, etc. put Hanna-Barbera into the World Series of Animated Television in 1970. This meeting was monumental because it laid the groundwork for the decade-long top-turnbuckle victory stance of the various Superfriends/Super Friends/Super Powers cartoons. Superheroes were once again welcome on Saturday Morning TV after their controversial banishment in 1969 (The King Mucketymuck deemed Space Ghost, Birdman, Herculoids, and their compatriots in the Hanna-Barbera Superhero Fraternity as exceedingly violent and absent of socially redeeming merit). Without this team-up, the industry may not have been jolted into Amping Their Game due to the impact of “The All-New Superfriends Hour” and “Challenge of the Superfriends”, two shows that forced the tinkerers of your children’s weekend imaginations to re-consider the potential viewership of their diagrammed cutesy-wutesy dog’n’puppy selections. Domino Effect, Positive: “Superfriends” to “Thundarr the Barbarian” to “GI Joe” to “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” to “Thundercats” to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to…okay, well, it all crapped out again in the 90s. “Scooby-Doo Meets Batman and Robin” set a standard that has often been mimicked but never tenably duplicated.
Pop Culture: Father of the Year.