Apr 5, 2010

Random Videos

And now, in absolutely no particular order, and for no particular reason, are some random videos for you to check out and broaden your minds with. Everyone settled up front? Ready with the projector? Can someone in the back kill the lights? Okay, roll 'em!

This was a short-lived 1974 television series starring Ronny Cox, who is now mostly famous for playing bad guys. Back then he played a Dad named George Apple who decides to move his family from the hectic city life of Los Angeles to Appleton, a town founded by his ancestors. The Apples lived in a working grist mill, and was a modern version of the Waltons. It only ran for two seasons. I guess the opening is supposed to show how wholesome the whole family is or something.The show never caught on.

Jim Varney was a comic genius (sadly, he is no longer with us) who never received the credit he deserved because of his most famous character: Ernest P. Worrell. The character was used in countless commercials all over the country and became so famous, movies followed (Ernest Goes To Camp, Ernest Goes to Jail, etc). He was also the voice of the Slinky dog in the Toy Story movies, and played Jed Clampett in the completely unnecessary remake of The Beverly Hillbillies.

The commercials were the best vehicle for Varney's sense of comedy and the Ernest P. Worrell character: the nosy neighbor who was always inviting himself over and talking to Vern, the suffering unseen neighbor. Ernest's signature catch phrase was know-what-I-mean, trademarked as KnoWhutImean? Ernest would pester Vern at all hours of the day or night, always meaning well, but never quite understanding how inappropriate his intrusions were. The commercials were the creation of an advertising agency that used the Ernest character to pitch auto dealers, gas appliances, dairy products, soda and public service announcements. Check out these fine examples below:

Here's another good one:

And finally, one more good one, KnoWhutImean?


Maybe it's just me, but I think these commercials are hilarious. I have the definitive Ernest P. Worrell DVD collection with two DVDs of his commercials, some of which are out-takes and bloopers, and some behind the scenes footage to see how they are filmed.  The collection also has some rare appearances by other characters Varney created. To learn more about Jim Varney, click HERE. Sadly, Jim Varney died in 2000 from lung cancer, and the world is a sadder place because of it. If you want to pick up a copy of this fine retrospective, check it out HERE

Sesame Street Yip Yip Aliens
This one is a classic, and utterly hilarious. No explanation necessary.

Nissan 300ZX Car Commercial
This commercial was directed by Ridley Scott, who did commercials before going on to direct movie classics such as Blade Runner, Alien, and Gladiator. The commercial ran only one time before it was pulled by Nissan because they thought it would encourage reckless driving. It was never seen on TV again. Too bad, because the commercial is a fine piece of film making. 

The Railrodder
This is a longer film, but extremely entertaining, starring the classic talents of Buster Keyton in one of his last films. It's a twenty-five minute trip across the gorgeous countryside of Canada on a two-seater rail cart used for track maintenance, and everything Buster Keyton needs he pulls out of the storage box. Filmed in 1965, it is an amusing little gem of a movie.

Visit the website for the National Film Board of Canada HERE for lots of free independent short films.

Allegro Non Troppo
This was an animated Italian film created in 1977 designed to be either a parody of, or challenge to, Disney's Fantasia. The animation is absolutely superb, and is a series of pieces set to classical music. This piece is set to the wonderful music of Bolero, and depicts  a Coke bottle left by an astronaut on an alien world that starts an evolutionary chain of events, creating legions of creatures, all on the march. Do yourself a favor and settle back and enjoy this one. It's a long piece; it has been separated into two parts on YouTube. To learn more about this movie, click HERE.

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