Thursday, February 28, 2013

80's Theme Week: Day 4


So here we are on the official last day of 80's week here @ the House of Fun. And what a ride it's been.
I sincerely hope any and all of you that have actually read these trips down memory lane, enjoyed them and got you reminiscing about your own cherished childhood memories.

As I wrap up 80's week, I was trying to think of what to finish up on. At first it was going to be music, like maybe a Top 5 list of my favorite 80's songs. But really, trying to list only 5 is nowhere as easy it might sound, and by god it really shouldn't be or else you've never really listened to any 80's music at all.

So today, I'll do a Top 5 list anyways, but it'll be about a true passion of mine growing up: Professional Wrestling.

Yes, say what you will, but it was the shit back in the day, and it still is.

I'm picking my top 5 favorite WWF Baby faces(or good guys) and Heels(bad guys).

Baby Faces:

5). Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Jake The Snake was the shit back in the day! The pioneer and master of the dreaded DDT, Jake the Snake was a cool, customer, as cold and calculating as the very reptile he was nick-named after. His promos were very cool because unlike most promos by wrestlers, he didn't scream and yell. He very calmly and deliberately told you what he was going to do to you, mixing in popular catch phrases and song titles of the day in these promos. He was a master of psychology, playing mind games with his opponents, who only had to look in his corner to find his ever trusty pet snake, Damien lying in wait. After the DDT and win, Roberts would take Damien out of the bag, and drape the huge beast over his near-unconscious opponent. It was that little extra that made watching Roberts so exciting.

Oh and another cool factoid, Jake "The Snake" was accompanied to the ring during Wrestlemania 3 by the legendary rocker, Alice Cooper. Fucking cool indeed!

4). The Ultimate Warrior

Hey what list from the 80's would be complete w/o this guy right? 
Clad in bright colorful colors, face paint, and an awesome mini-show of an entrance, the Ultimate Warrior was true sight to see for the young kids of the 80's. It was pretty much like watching a superhero come to life right out of the comic books, which is exactly what a lot of the popular heroes and villain wrestlers of the time resembled. 

What also made UW so popular and memorable, was his total nonsensical promos. Seriously, this guy's rants made absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever, but that didn't harm his rise to fame one bit.
He hit his peak at Wrestlemania 6, in the legendary battle of good guys(which just didn't happen back then) between then WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior and the then WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan. WWF fans were had their loyalties tested, as they tried to decide who to root for: the Ultimate Warrior or Hulk Hogan. In the end, it was the Ultimate Warrior who won, with Hogan passing the torch to the Warrior. Warrior didn't last too long though, due to both the steroid scandal of the early 90's and Warrior demanding more money from the owner of the WWF, Vince McMahon. 
From there, Warrior would make sporadic appearances, before leaving the WWF for good in 1997.
Still, longtime fans look back on the Ultimate Warrior as one of the true icons and popular superstars of that era.

3). "Rowdy" Roddy Piper

Ah yes, the Rowdy one. 
The Hot Rod did start out as a vicious heel blessed with the gift of gab. He demonstrated his quick-witted mic skills on a regular basis with his hit "talk show segment" on WWF TV, called the "Piper's Pit."
This is mostly one of the things he's most famous for, as he would regularly belittle and insult his guests who were mostly good guys. One of the most famous examples is his 1985 interview with popular superstar "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, where Piper would insult Snuka, then attack him with of all things, a coconut. He clean bashed Snuka over the head with it, and from there Piper became the buzz of the WWF.
After a very popular most watched feud with the ever popular Hulk Hogan, Piper turned face due to the fans loving the very qualities about him that made him such a popular bad guy in the first place. And that's the Piper I remember watching.
One of my most favorite personal memories of watching Piper, was his Wrestlemania 5 appearance  where he attacked the then popular and very controversial talk show host Morton Downey Jr. with a fire extinguisher after repeatedly blowing cigarette smoke in Piper's face despite Piper's repeated objections to it.

Piper to this very day is fondly remembered as a pioneer and true icon of the business during the 80's boom.

2). The "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Like Piper, The Macho Man Randy Savage also started out his career in the WWF as a heel. He was like a wild animal in the ring, attacking his opponents as soon as the bell rang. He'd use quick cheap shots or jump you from behind, but either way, he was very smart in the ring.
Accompanied by his manager(and then wife) the lovely Elizabeth, it didn't take long before Savage caught on with the fans, turning face in at the tail end of 1987, eventually winning a one night tournament for the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship @ Wrestlemania 4 in 1988.
He was definitely ahead of his time, with his humorous and sometimes nonsensical promos(probably fueled by the drug of choice back in the 80's, Cocaine) and his Arial attacks from the top turnbuckle, like his signature finishing move, The Flying Elbow Drop. He was a trend-setter for future smaller stature guys like Savage(most popular wrestlers and champions were in the high 200's-300 lbs) who only weighed around 236-8lbs.
Much later in his career during the late 90's he was probably best remembered for his popular Slim Jim commercials.
Either way, he was a true legend who'll be missed, especially in light of his untimely death in May of 2011.

1). Hulk Hogan

Shit, you'd probably have to look really far in the world to find someone who doesn't know who Hulk Hogan is. And that seems like a truly impossible task considering Hogan was the top guy and face of the WWF during the 80's.
Who growing up during that time period, doesn't remember the Hulkster telling his Hulkamaniacs to "Train, Say their prayers, and Eat their vitamins everyday"?
The irony being Hogan forgot to add to not forget your daily dose of steroids;)
Still no other wrestler alive and active during that time was as hugely popular and over with the fans like the Hulkster. It, along with his classic monumental Wrestlemania 3 match with Andre The Giant, is the reason why Hogan remains so popular to this very day and resonated so much with the kids at the time.
And that's why he's numero uno on the list.


5). Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

This was one rough and tough son of a bitch! 
The master of the Figure-Four Leglock(other than Ric Flair) Greg "The Hammer" Valentine was a no-nonsense, bare-bones wrestler who lived to beat the ever-loving shit out of his opponents. If he didn't hammer you senseless with his powerful forearms to the chest and head, he'd cripple your ass by applying the Figure-Four Leglock on you, making you cry and tap out like a bitch;)

Oh, and as an added bonus of what made the Hammer so tough, was he was a 2nd Generation wrestler, following the footsteps of his father, legendary wrestler, Johnny Valentine.

4). The Honky Tonk Man

I loved watching this guy back in the day. His gimmick was basically that of an evil Elvis Impersonator. Yep, you heard me right; The Honky Tonk Man was evil Elvis;)

Sure the Evil Elvis gimmick was performed better in the movie 300 Miles to Graceland, but ol' HTM played it up everything it was worth, just like his theme song claimed, "He was cool, cocky, and bad."

He was never too far from his manager, the legendary "Mouth from the South" Jimmy Hart, and always carried his trusty guitar with him just in case he felt like playing El Ka-Bong on someone's head.
Some of the more famous victims of his guitar shots includes the Macho Man Randy Savage and Jake "The Snake" Roberts(who suffered a permanent neck injury when he was hit with a real guitar, as opposed to the usual hollowed-out, gimmick guitar HTM used)

HTM's claim to fame was his year-long run as the self-proclaimed "Greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time" and losing that championship in a under a minute against the Ultimate Warrior at Summerslam 1988.

3). Andre The Giant

If you were a wrestling fan in the 70's and 80's, then you definitely remember this legendary big man. Billed as standing at nearly 7 feet tall and over 500 lbs, Andre the Giant was a true larger than life icon of Professional Wrestling.

I'm only including him in the Heel section, because that's exactly what he was when I first watched him in the legendary main event of Wrestlemania 3 against Hulk Hogan. 93,000 plus fans witnessed history in the making that night, as Hogan picked up and body-slammed Andre the Giant down to the mat. No one at that point in Andre's career had ever successfully body-slammed Andre like that, and thus a historic and pivotal movement in WWF history was made.

From there Andre would be involved in a legendary angle that saw Hogan get screwed out of his WWF Championship and be awarded to Andre, who would immediately hand it over to the man who made#2 on this list, The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase.

Andre would hang in there for a few more years, before finally retiring by 1991. Years of health problems, such as the genetic disorder Acromegalia and drinking would ultimately catch up with the legend, to which he would finally succumb in 1993.

Fan factoid, Andre the Giant appeared in the 80's cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

2). The "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase 

Who doesn't love to hate those snob-ass rich guys who enjoy rubbing their wealth in other people's faces?
And thus is the gimmick of The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. Accompanied by his faithful bodyguard Virgil, Dibiase was just one of those guys you just loved to hate, and wanted to see get his ass beat. 
That was the appeal of the Million Dollar Man, who would shove Hundred dollar bills in the mouths of his opponents after putting them to sleep with his finishing move, "The Million Dollar Dream."

And that's not all. Nope, there was also a time where he would offer to pay an X amount of $ to anyone who would do whatever he asked like kiss his foot, or dribble a basketball a certain amount of times. Of course ever the bad guy, he'd always cheat, so as to get out of paying up.

1). "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning

My top all-time favorite bad guy, had to be Mr. Perfect Curt Henning.
Just watch some of these vignettes that showed off just why he was called Mr.Perfect:


Like those videos showed, whatever the sport, be it basketball, golf, baseball, or running track, Mr. Perfect could do it all, and do it perfectly.

No shit, whether it was shooting a perfect 3-pointer or hitting a perfect home-run shot, Mr. Perfect was able to do so in one take. Yes, one take!
That's a hell of a testament to a hell of a athlete.

One of my other favorite moves of his, was his entrance. He'd walk down the aisle, throwing his towel behind his back and catch it perfectly every time!
The same thing would happen with his signature spitting out of his gum, only to swat the damn thing while in mid-air, and  never once did he ever miss. Ever!

Sadly, Curt Henning passed away before his time in 2006/7 due to his history of prescription pain medicine abuse and steroids.

Either way, he'll always be number one on my book.

Now a quick note, some of you might be asking, "But where's Ric Flair?" Well The "Nature Boy" didn't show up in the WWF until Jan 1992, thus he'll show up for 90's week.

Well, that;s it for me for this week, I really hoped you enjoyed this stroll through memory lane because I sure as hell did.

Have a great weekend people, Mr. Morbid loves ya!;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

80's Theme Week: Day 3

Happy Hump Day Mother-truckers!!!!!

So it's Day 3 already, and today's topic of choice is video games. Yes video games, because that's what got the ball rolling when it came to home entertainment for the kiddies.

If there was no Atari or NES, there'd be no X-Box360 or PlayStation 3(now 4)

Without Super Mario and Pac-Man, there'd be no Halo or Assassin's Creed.
Without....well, you get the point.

So today, I'd briefly like to talk about some of the early arcade and video games that had a big impact on me growing up, and no doubt on some or most of you as well.

My earliest memories of playing arcade games has to be around age 5. I was still living in Germany at the time, and was staying w/my folks in a little town on a religious retreat. Yes my folks were religious, and no, it wasn't a cult, you silly bears;)

Anyhoo, the first games I played upon discovering them, were Centipede, Galaxian, and Pac-Man.

Let me tell you, those games really blow my mind, not to mention how cool they seemed even for those times graphically.

Centipede, as cool as it looked, didn't seem to age well with time, unlike Pac-Man and Galaxian. In fact, out of the three, only Pac-Man seemed to thrive the best, spawning sequels  merchandise like candy, lunchboxes, toys, and even his very own animated cartoon.

And who can forger Mrs. Pac-Man?

Yep, she spawned her own game series for a quick minute. Let's hear it for gender equality! Yeahhhhh!

I'd go on to grow up on other classic arcade games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, The X-Men, Marvel vs. Capcom, TMNT, and more. But that's more during the 90's, and that's a whole theme for next week.

Oops, did I just reveal the theme for next week? SPOILER ALERT!!!!!;)
Ha ha, my bad.

Where was I? oh yeah video games.
I didn't get an Atari when it came out or afterwards, but I did manage to get an NES. And damn did that really blow my mind!

Early favorites for the NES where Super Mario(of course), especially the first one that came with Duck Hunt.
Then it was games like Shinobi, StriderBionic Commando, ZeldaSkate or Die, and one of my early favorites, and the 2nd game I ever played on NES, Double Dragon.

It was THE precursor to future fighting games like the ones I just mentioned like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

And that franchise proved so popular, it too spawned cartoons, more games, toys, and a horrible c-list movie starring Scott Wolf from Party of Five.

Good times I'm sure;)

Finally, just in case you were going through a little skit withdraw, here's a little something I whipped just for you guys courtesy of ol' Mr. Morbid.

I call it Pinball Wizard:

Yep, last week I got the Aquaman/Mer-Man DC vs. MOTU 2-pack
 And then my sister got me the Pac-Man candy tin, and now I have an arcade game for my guys(and gals) to play. Cool huh?

 Tomorrow's the conclusion of 80's week. And it's not a bad day to wrap this all up in either, since it's the last day of February. Hey, I don't always plan these things to go as smoothly as this, but I'll take it;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

80's Theme Week: Day 2

So it's Day 2 of 80's Theme Week here @ The House, and today I figured I'd focus on some of the toys a bit.

Now awhile back, like 2011 back, I briefly talked about some of the toys in the 80's I played with. You know, the usual suspects like Transformers, GI Joe, TMNT, and stuff.

Well Kenner back in the early-mid 80's had problems.

Transformers and GI Joe were kicking their asses in the toy market. So some smart exec said, "Hey, kids love robots, and the military. Let's combine them into one concept and market the hell out of it!"

                                                             And thus, MASK was born.

Yes MASK. At the time, it really did combine the best features of the Transformers and GI Joe, but that's all it really was.

You got the cool vehicles, and the some of the mask designs were pretty good, but they were just lacking personalities; that IT factor that made kids everywhere fall in love with GI Joe and the Transformers in the 1st place.

Hell, I only had maybe a few of the figures, and maybe one vehicle, but that was it. I was a strictly GI Joe/TF kid, so MASK was a really brief passing phase for me.

Even with a cartoon to help pimp the toys, the show and concept didn't last long, fading out into obscurity and the faint memories of a generation of kids.

They've recently popped up in a skit or two on Robot Chicken, and it was funny as shit!

But other than that, they're one of the few 80's concepts to not make a comeback, or even a hint of one.

The other fun marketing property to come out of the 80's were the Garbage Pail Kids.

I might've mentioned them before, but that shit was right up my alley man. Even back then, a young Mr.Morbid loved himself some Garbage Pail Kids!;)

They started out as a spoof  on the very popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls at the time, with the TOPPS trading card company marketing them as satirical trading cards.

It worked, and a new craze was born.

And really, how could kids not love it? All the gross, over the top art. The bad puns that were both funny and easily relate-able to to kids, the gum alone that was packed in there with cards helped sell it further. It was just a kids dream, and a uptight parents' nightmare, so yeah, of course it was a hit;)

Oh, and did I mention they made a movie Garbage Pail Kids movie?

Ah the 80's......and this is just Tuesday;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

80's Theme Week: Day 1

Well not exactly.......

Mondays, am I right?;)

So in the interest of trying new stuff, and the lack of photo-ops due to shitty, rainy weather, I figured I'd do themed weeks, staring with the 80's all this week.

Yep, I'be randomly spotlight different shows and music, toys, etc. that had an impact on me growing up.

For today, I decided I'd briefly talk about such shows like Double Dare and TJ Hooker. Random choices I know, but it'll work.

Was there anything more quintessentially 80's for kids, than the kids' game show, Double Dare?

Ah Double Dare. I don't know about you, but this was the show that introduced the concept of such timeless, classic fashion wear such as Jordache and Gitano Jeans? Good love those fashion failures of the past;)
Mark Summers, hell of a host, now stuck in the hell that is Infomercials;)

Every weekend you'd tune in to see 2 teams of 2 kids on what was basically a quiz show, like Family Feud, but for kids, answers questions in an attempt to be allowed the privilege to beat the shit out of themselevs in a fun maze of obstacle courses. Kind of like Gym Class, but on technicolor-coated crack;)

And of course there was slime. Plenty of fucking slime!
Yeah, those guys don't look gay or not happy to see that much industrial strength Anal Ease at all;)

Here's some clips:

Hard to believe the that the original show lasted from 1986-1993, but it did, spawning spin-offs like Family Double Dare, Celebrity Double Dare, and some other specials. Of course by then. the show and its popularity had dwindled a good bit,  but video games, and other Double Dare products seemed to still sell well.

Of course by the time Double Dare 2000 appeared in the air, the show and concept were pretty much dead, and other kids' shows inspired by Double Dare began to take off. 

Still,  I can fondly remember the first time I watched this crazy fun show, wishing I could be a lucky contestant that dug for flags under fake, slimy nostrils

and this; plenty and plenty of this!:

Good times, and a hell of a trend-setter, if not the trend-setter of all kids quiz shows.

And show numero dos?

How about this?

Yep, TJ Hooker y'all!!!!!!
I was too young to even tell you if this show was any good, despite it starring William "Call me Captain Kirk" Shatner as the lead crusty veteran cop.

The only reason, and I repeat, THE ONLY REASON I watched this show was all because of this woman:
                                                             *Cue Dream Weaver by Gary Wright;)

Yep, the quintessential 80's pin-up girl, and forever the object of my long-standing crush, Miss Heather Locklear stole my heart after only seeing her once. From there I was hooked, and thus the main reason(besides Shatner I guess;) to watch the show in the 1st place.

If only I had been older, rich and famous(and had a little blow on the side) I could've ended up as Mr. Locklear and not Tommy Lee or Richie Sambora. 'Sigh'

Sweet God I'd have laid her down and made sweet, sweet love to her. Good God!!!!!!

Did I mention she was also starring in another show at the same time she appeared on Hooker? Yeah, Dynasty bitches!!!!

My lady was working that shit!

My love affair with her would continue on into the 90's with a little show called Melrose Place.
Ahh, but that's whole 'nother tale for another time.

"Closing time. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here."

Well..... I kinda always knew this day would come, and it sure has. It's been a hell of a ride, but it's time to for it end. Ti...