Friday, November 21, 2008

Miscellaneous Friday Notes

I will be sticking around the house most of the day, catching up on paperwork and getting things straightened up. Stacey is flying in for the weekend, and Katie is throwing me a small shower here tomorrow, so I want to get the last of the boxes we packed during the carpet installation moved out of the main floor and do a last-minute cleaning. I haven't seen Stacey since her wedding in June, so we are both looking forward to her trip, which I'm sure will involve lots of catching up & eating junk food. She is also going to help me pick out a new, cute pair of glasses to replace the ones I've had for at least 5 years. I am so tired of them, and the frames are starting to show some wear.

Terminix is here this morning to do an outdoor termite treatment. Thankfully, they didn't find any live activity in the house, but there were definite signs that some had been trying to come in the family room through the patio slab and Dave found a mud tube in the cement of the garage. Hopefully the treatment will get that all taken care of.

Dave sent me this article about ABC not picking up full seasons of 3 shows. We don't watch "Dirty Sexy Money," but really enjoy "Pushing Daisies," and I know my mom loves "Eli Stone." I've only watched it a few times to try to catch the fabulous Victor "SpyDaddy" Garber singing. I hope they have some decent mid-season replacements, or else we might be faced with even more frequent episodes of "Dancing With The Stars" (it's already almost as bad as "American Idol" with its normal shows and separate results shows) and entire weekend schedules devoted to Ty Pennington and his hyper yelling and running around.

Recently, Dave stumbled across, a website from Mike Nelson, formerly of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He basically does the same thing he did on MST3k, making the snarky commentary downloadable so you can play it in sync with the DVD. We were already sold when we found out he did a commentary on one of our favorite awful movies, "Roadhouse," where noted thespian Patrick Swayze works as the bouncer at a sketchy redneck bar "somewhere outside Kansas City" and also happens to have a Ph.D. in philosophy. Uh huh.

But the Kansas City Star brings this wonderful news of one of Rifftrax's newest offerings:
The unspecial special

“The Star Wars Holiday Special” aired just once, Nov. 17, 1978, on CBS. It still draws the ire or amusement of “Star Wars” fans.

“I think it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” said Mike Nelson, who, with his former “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” co-stars, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, recorded heckling audio commentary to accompany the special, which can be downloaded from

“It makes you want to reach behind the scenes and imagine how it all happened,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “You have to ask, ‘Who approved it? Where was the fail-safe point?’ ”

For those of you who haven't been cursed lucky enough to see this wonderful piece of cinematic history yet, read on for a description. And for those of you who have already seen the special, namely Dave's college roommates, I'm still sorry for bringing the DVD down to the ranch. I had no idea it could possibly be so awful. On the plus side, we did learn from the commercials that "TOBOR" is "Robot" spelled backwards, although, sadly, the tape didn't include the advertised "Fighting the Frizzies" segment from the local news that aired after the special.

“TSWHS” was about Chewbacca trying to get back to his family (Itchy, Lumpy and Malla) to celebrate “Life Day” on his planet Kashyyk. The guests include Diahann Carroll, Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur (as a cantina performer).

Put in historical context, “TSWHS” was not all that out of the ordinary, according to co-writer Bruce Vilanch.

“In those days, television specials were all about taking the hottest movie phenomenon and capitalizing on the audience,” he said. “The year before, I worked on ‘The Paul Lynde Halloween Special’ with Margaret Hamilton, Kiss, Florence Henderson and Witchy Poo from ‘H.R. Pufnstuf.’ So a ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ made perfect sense.”

They don't mention that there's also Mark Hamill in eyeliner, a clearly stoned Carrie Fisher, and an utterly embarrassed Harrison Ford looking like he wants to sink through the floor. And 10-15 minutes of unsubtitled Wookie grunting. Seriously. It is just incomprehensibly bad, and vast quantities of drugs must've been involved in the writing and production.

And despite all these warnings, Neilam has requested to borrow our copy, which Dave just got back from his now-traumatized co-worker. So it'll be in the mail in the next few weeks, Neilam. I don't think I can send enough brain bleach to go along with it, so that you'll have to supply yourself.


Neilam said...

Em, you've known me my whole life, so i know you know how i operate: Hype turns me off (thus my avoidance of, for example, the Harry Potter books). But negative hype, on the other hand - something i'm not "supposed" to like - that's another story. "Despite all these warnings"? Au contraire, mon capitan, it's *because* of the warnings!


I think i'll make Kevin & Vicky watch it with me; then we can weigh in as a panel on the Olschki household's debate of the christmas special versus Episode I.

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend!

Em said...

We watched it again with the Rifftrax, and especially the beginning was hilarious. I highly recommend downloading it. I'd forgotten how freaky looking Chewie's family was, though! Nightmarish!