How have I written this FORGOTTEN TV feature for so long without featuring THE GREAT SPACE COASTER? I actually had to search through my archives because I was sure I had written up a piece about it, but there was none to be found.
THE GREAT SPACE COASTER was a daily kids show that mixed humans and puppets. There was Baxter, a big human sized puppet. Goriddle Gorilla, Gary Gnu was a talk show host. Rory, of “Rockin’ with Rory” was a DJ. And in the later seasons, they brought in the Huggles, a group cute puppets for the younger audiences.
The show aired in syndication and was produced by a division of Hasbro Toys. It aired from 1981 to 1986. I remember seeing it when I was home sick from school, but it also aired in mornings and afternoons.
The biggest star to emerge from the show was Kevin Clash who voiced Goriddle Gorilla. Soon after, he would move on to SESAME STREET and become Elmo.
However Chris Gifford, the drummer in the band, would go on to a career behind the scenes. In the late 80’s I remember watching something on Nickelodeon where the New Kids on the Block were being interviewed. Donnie Wahlberg got all excited when he noticed one of the guys in the crew was the drummer for THE GREAT SPACE COASTER. Donnie was a fan.
Gifford would remain at Nickelodeon, and go on to create a little show called DORA THE EXPLORER. That show, and its spin off GO DIEGO GO are probably more popular than THE GREAT SPACE COASTER ever was.
One VHS compilation of the show was released (used copies sell for quite a bit), but that was it. I have no idea how well the show would hold up today. Other than the YouTube clips, I haven’t seen it in over twenty years.
EDIT 9/6/10: THE GREAT SPACE COASTER gang reunited for a wonderful interview with the Just My Show podcast
Chris Gifford even talks about the Donnie Wahlberg moment.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Last Sunday, July 19, a couple posted their wedding entrance video online. It was to show to friends who weren't able to attend.
That video went viral, 5.2 million views as I write this. The couple was on THE TODAY SHOW on Friday, and recreated the dance on the Saturday episode.
In case you haven't seen it yet, here it is (click through if you can't see it):
I never got into that whole Susan Boyle video, as it felt too manipulated. This however I love.
My favorite Youtube Clip Of The Year.
Friday, July 17, 2009
One of my favorite blog features is over at Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot where Marty McKee reviews action adventure paperbacks usually from the 1970's Many of these were based on films and TV shows of the era. They were a way to have readers relive the characters.
The series died out by the time that direct to video action films took off.
With my recent obsession with the USA Network series BURN NOTICE, I was surprised to see that there were two spin off novels featuring the characters. Both are written by Tod Goldberg, a crime novelist.
The novels feature Michael Westen, the hero of the show, a burned spy out to find out who shut down his career. He is aided by his ex-girlfriend, the gun runner Fiona and his friend Sam, a former Navy Seal.
The first book in the series from 2008, BURN NOTICE: THE FIX has Michel helping a socialite find out who her missing husband is.
Published earlier this year, the second, and probably the better of the two, THE END GAME, has the gang involved in a kidnapping tied to a yacht race.
First off, these are not what you would call great works of literature. They aren't up there with Elmore Leonard or, more importantly, Carl Hiaasen who owns the Miami crime thriller genre. But they are great reads.
I was a bit surprised by how low key the books were. You would think that a book, since it doesn't have a budget, would have bigger action scenes that would be too expensive to do on TV. Instead, they are all a bit toned down. There are more explosions and such in a typical episode.
Would those who don't watch the TV show care about the books? Doubtful. Although once you watch the show, the books are a great way to fill time between episodes.
Both THE FIX and THE END GAME are available now from Signet.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Maybe it is just me getting old, but today’s music does nothing for me.
Reading Rolling Stone, and not even recognizing most songs in the Top 10, I happened to see this list, the Top 10 Singles from 25 years ago.
Here is the Top 10 from June 16, 1984
10. “Borderline” by Madonna
9. “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen
8. “Jump (For My Love)” by The Pointer Sisters
7. “Self Control” by Laura Branigan (NOTE: The above William Friedkin directed video was originally banned by MTV. Can still see why)
6. “The Heart of Rock & Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News
5. “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger
4. “Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry
3. “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” by Deniece Williams
2. “The Reflex” by Duran Duran
1. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
Is it just me or do those songs still hold up?
If only for how the #1 song inspired this:
One of the greatest movie moments of the 1990’s.
Will we still be listening to Lady Gaga (whoever that is) 25 years from now?
NOTE: This post contains Youtube clips. If reading from an outside site, click through to view.