Thursday, June 21, 2007

Roundtable: Indulging Nostalgia

I like knowing that I'm remembering something correctly.

Say, for example, I'm thinking about a Warner Brothers cartoon, where Daffy plays host to a game show called "Truth or AAAAIGH!", and Porky's a contestant. And the whole thing is essentially an excuse for Daffy to torture Porky...I like knowing that it's very likely I could go on the enterwlog and find it (via google, wikipedia, and youtube). (Other cartoons include "Inki and the Lion," "Rabbit of Seville")

Same thing with "Fat Cat Sat Hat". (See also, "Ernie, Bert, Count, Pyramid", "Beat the Time, Smiley, Cookie" and "Imagining Shapes")

I could get all romantic about this and go on about how you don't see these things anymore, and yaddah. The simple fact of the matter is that these are cherished bits from my past. I'm glad I am able to find it and relive it, at will.

So, what are yours? What are the bits that you think you may be the last to remember? Please find and share a link. Maybe mention how you ran across it.
Pssst, hey...wanna join the Roundtable? We're goofy cohorts; a bunch of good eggs, for the most part, and comments on your blog. Admit it, you're a comment whore. You want in. Drop a line.--TBO


At 5:22 AM, Blogger edwardcoli said...

Boy, that's an interesting one, things I'm nostalgic about that you don't see much these days. This has the makings of a top ten list to me. Let's see what I can come up with . . .

1) Recently, I have rediscovered my love of one of my favorite toys when I was a kid, the Viewmaster. I suppose I love the toy so much because I love to travel, and I've always considered Viewmasters to be a primitive virtual-sightseeing type of device.

2) There are numerous cartoons that you rarely see anymore, partially because of political correctness, and related societal changes. Amongst my favorites is Dough for the Do-Do, sometimes referred to as Porky in Wackyland.

3) Other cartoons include very early Daffy Duck cartoons, where he is REALLY looney. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of any of the specific cartoons, but there is one where he sings a song that begins, "Oh, people call me Daffy, they say that I am gooney, but just because I'm happy is no sign I'm looney toony."

4) Further cartooniness includes a Tom & Jerry cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, where Jerry has access to invisible paint and hi-jinx ensue. The toon ends with each of them attacking each other with scissors, cutting each other's fur so it looks like they're wearing bikinis. The two of them laugh so hard, they lean on each other like chums.

5) My family's favorite music to listen to when I was growing up was musicals, so I actually get nostalgic listening to several musical soundtracks, 1776, Pete's Dragon, Pippin, Shenandoah, Tom Sawyer, etc.

6) When I was a kid, we had an LP (that's Long Playing Record, or 33 1/3 for you youngsters) for a briefly run kid's TV show called The Mouse Factory. It was a Disney venture, but it was headed by Ward Kimball, one of Walt Disney's right hand men. Ward Kimball is a bit more trippy, goofy, and surreal in comparison to other Disney animators. I practically wore this record out on my portable record player when I was a kid.

Gotta go teach now. I'll add more later!!!

At 7:20 AM, Blogger RW said...

Oooh! Ooooh! OOOOhhh! Pick me! PICK MEEEEE!

At 8:57 AM, Blogger JJisafool said...

For me, it's mainly little boy action cartoons, like Herculoids and and the granddaddy of them all in my mind, .

But, mainly, because I'm married and have a kid, I'm nostalgic about having sex.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Flipping like a pancake, popping like a cork...

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

Unfortunately, as someone born at the tail-end of the "Baby Boom", pretty much every consumer product, television program, record, comic book, et al I've ever touched has now become fodder for the nostalgia industry, so I'm afraid there's probably very few things I could think of that haven't already been re-comodified into the larger pomo/retro consumer culture.

Heck, EBay and YouTube, by virtue of their very existence alone, have elevated the value of most of the things from my childhood to such a level that, had my mother only had a bit of foresight and NOT thrown out all that junk when I graduated from high school, would have allowed my entire family to live lives of such exhorbitant luxury today that I'd probably be typing this from my Parisian pied-a-terre, while waiting for the Jetstream to fuel up in anticipation of a quick hop to New Zealand for a private screening of whatever new Peter Jackson film I'd been financing.

All that being said, I do sort of still miss Saturday mornings, dosing myself with a box of Pink Panther Flakes in anticipation of several hours of Bugs, Daffy & friends, along with the aforementioned JQ, the pre-non-sequitor spewing Space Ghost, and those really cheezy old Marvel Comics cartoons, followed by an afernoon of whizzing through the back yard with a dog-chewed Major Matt Mason flying on the end of a long piece of twine, en route to the "secret clubhouse" where the stacks of Marvel and D.C. comics awaited yet another thorough perrusal.

Oh, and slot-cars, Revell models, Schwinn Stingray two-speed bikes (WITH the high-backed sissy-bar!), METAL TV show themed lunchboxes with matching thermos, and the neon orange plastic Hot Wheels tracks that you could slap-duel your little brothers into submission with on a regular basis.

Tra-la-la, tomorrow is another day...

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schoolhouse Rock...

"Conjuncion junction, what's your function...."

At 6:38 PM, Blogger AHP said...

I most remember Tom and Jerry, loved that “Touche Pussycat mouse”. What's cool about those is that they are timeless. Even my nephieces watched it and they were born 30 years after me. Superfriends was great to watch with my brother on Saturday mornings. I thought Aquaman was never quite right, but I liked that Apache guy and the guy who ran really fast. The Flintstones were a big part of my TV viewing schedule. The episode where Wilma and Fred switch jobs made me the male feminist I am today.

As for toys, nothing beats Lego, and never will, especially the sets with the gears and all that nerdy stuff. Scrabble still rules to prove that you're smarter than your friends.

Sorry for the late referring post. It will be up in a few.

At 4:35 AM, Blogger edwardcoli said...

Here're more items from my list . . .

7) My father's parents retired to Florida, about three hours south of Orlando, so every year, when my family would go to visit, we would stop at Walt Disney World. My brother had a record of music from the Magic Kingdom that my sister and I practically wore out. There was also a small picture disc of the Main Street Electrical Parade, which features the Baroque Hoedown theme.

8) My father was a bachelor during the golden age of the HiFi, and before he got married, records were some of his favorite indulgences. Probably the greatest records in his collection was Delerium in HiFi by Elsa Popping and her Pixieland Band. The music is basically cheezy fifties, French big band pop arrangements. That being said, the recording using all sorts of technical tricks, like speeding up a trombone solo to get a slide trumpet, recording vocals backwards, etc. to create a really great album. One of my favorite albums to listen to and dance like an idiot.

9) Also in my father's collection was a bunch of forty-fives for Fire House Five Plus Two, which was another Ward Kimball / Disney crossover. Firehouse Five Plus Two is a Dixieland Jazz Group made up of Disney animators, including Ward Kimball on Trombone (both myself and my father played trombone). Very fun records.

10) Finally, while this list starts with being nostalgic over Saturday mornings, I'll end it with Saturday nights. We'd often go to 4 o'clock Saturday (Catholic) Mass. Since my brother was the organist, we'd meet up with him back by the rectory. Since I'm from Wisconsin, Father Schmidt's (the senior priest) signature Saturday night dinner involved very fragrant sauerkraut, so we'd wait in the sauerkraut vapors for my brother, go home and have dinner. Then we'd catch the end of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and then onto The Wonderful World of Disney. Treats might include Baumeister's Root Beer or Orange Soda. For snacks, we may have ground chuck oven roasted on half rolls, or the king of kings, home made pizza with green olives!

At 1:14 PM, Anonymous levide said...

Loaf of bread, carton of milk, stick of butter....

At 5:45 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

EdC, thanks for the comprehensive list! A lot of it rung with me, particularly the Viewmaster bit, but it's the Mouse Factory info that really intrigued me...never even knew that existed.

RW, the whole culture of Rocky & Bullwinkle (and their various spinoffs, Underdog, etc.) missed me when I first came to the States...they were on, but the language and comical elements truly flew over my head. Someone sat me down and had me watch a few hours' worth, and it's become evident that I need to watch more.

JJ, Starblazers, man, I fuggin' dug that shit, especially in PR...that ship! those costumes! hyperspace! Thanks for bringing that one back for me.

Suzanne, like R&B, I totally missed the Banana Splits boat, unlike R&B, I doubt I'll be revisiting...The Adventures of Gulliver, though? Yeah, great in Spanish reruns.

Chris, thanks for the last two paragraphs, even though I have no recollection of Pink Panther Flakes, nor am I familiar with Matt Mason, everything else struck home. Metal TV Show Lunch Boxes! Great in a fight, and protected your sandwich at the same time!

Mr. Funk, I preferred to hanker for a hunka cheese, or the CBS News bits, remember those?

Atul, do you remember what the Fred and Barney clones created by the Great Kazoo would say?

and finally, here's the bit that levide is referring to.

Speaking of which, seeing as the Children's Television Workshop isn't hearing my plea for individual seasons of Sesame Street to be released, YouTube is probably the closest thing to what I want. If you have the time, consider the following:

I once had my sketch group do a piece based on this classic bit. The song played underneath this film is a powerful earworm, so consider yourself warned. The whole opera-singing-produce scene gave me nightmares at the time, but nothing like the sense of unease brought on by a face made of rubber bands...I'm still creeped out by it.

Still, I'm more disturbed by Boobas and the like...wonder why.

At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Atul said...

Yes yes yes (Fred?)
No no no (Barney?)

At 4:52 AM, Blogger edwardcoli said...


Since the topic of Sesame Street is out, I was a huge fan as a kid. In fact, I used to watch the same episode twice a day often, much to the consternation of my brother and sister. They'd come home from school wanting to watch the Mickey Mouse Club, and I'd wanna watch the same episode of Sesame Street that I had seen during lunch. My favorite bits were the "Muppet News Flash" (my Dad always watched the news when he came home, so I was sort of emulated my Dad on this one), "Guy Smiley", and anything with Grover or Cookie Monster.


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