Sports doesn’t really fall into the realm of pop culture, but I will work it back and tie things in and figure everything out. You know, really thematically resonant stuff. Anyway, there is a gentleman in the NHL who is a head coach. His name is Bob Hartley. He coaches the Calgary Flames, and he’s a good coach. He started with the Colorado Avalanche, who became a team in the 90s after the Quebec Nordiques moved, and won a Cup with them. He got the Atlanta Thrashers to the playoffs, the only guy to do so. Also, would you guess that he’s French Canadian? You know, with the name Bob Hartley?
There’s also an old sitcom called The Bob Newhart Show. I’ve written about it before, because I like it, and I’ve seen four seasons of it. However, even though it’s called The Bob Newhart Show, because it stars Bob Newhart, that’s not his characters name. Sure, he plays a Bob, but the character’s name is Bob Hartley.
I remember Bob Hartley, the hockey coach, from the day he joined the NHL. I watched The Bob Newhart Show as a kid, and have generally been familiar with it for years, and have watched it recently. It only just dawned on me that these two have the same name.
On Newhart, another show starring Bobby Newz, which lasted into 1990, he straight up dropped his entire name and became Dick Loudon. Then, for the short-lived 90s sitcom Bob, he naturally went back to being a Bob, but Bob McKay.
Oh, the olden days of shows being named after the stars, but the stars then having a different name within the show. Mary Tyler Moore. Dick Van Dyke. Now that would just serve to CONFUSE people. You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society.
The Wayne’s World movies, and I suppose the sketches on SNL, brought a lot of things into our lexicon. Phrases, but also concepts and ideas and pop culture like “Bohemian Rhapsody.” However, perhaps more than anything else, they pimped hockey to a delightful degree.
I love hockey, and in my youth, when I saw the Wayne’s World movies for the first time, I loved it even more. Mike Myers is Canadian, so it isn’t surprising hockey is in his blood. So hockey stuff shows up a lot in the movies. They go to Stan Mikita’s Donuts, although that’s just a play on Tim Horton’s. Mikita was a much better player, though. However, most notably, they helped popularize the phrase, “Game on.”
If you are a person who played hockey in the street at any point after that movie, you said “Game on,” on multiple occasions. They even play the soundbite at hockey games indoors, if there is a long break or something. It’s no “Schwing!,” but it is more practical, and more applicable. Or maybe not. It’s certainly less douchey to use un-ironically.
I almost posted a video of Kent Brockman reporting on the assassination of a squirrel that looks like Abe Lincoln. I was reminded of this because, you know, of the anniversary of the actual assassination of an actual human. It felt, not so much inappropriate or “too soon” or anything, but like I may come across as some naughty little imp trying to be bawdy or some dumb bullshit. Like, somebody making a Lincoln joke just to try and “be edgy” would be inane and lazy and dumb, and that’s not how I roll. Perhaps my favorite joke from Army Man is “They can kill the Kennedys. Why can’t they make a cup of coffee that tastes good?” Substance and context matters.
So, in short, here’s a different Kent Brockman video:
Curt Hennig was not merely a man who liked country music and hated rap music in WCW. For many moons, including in the 90s, he was Mr. Perfect. It’s a pretty, well, perfect name for a heel wrestler. The arrogance that oozes simply from his name, and Hennig certainly knew his way around a smug face.
He also had some awesome vignettes that were funny. Here are two of the best.
I decided to look up kaiju movies of the 90s, looking for anything that stuck out as unique. Alas, there was not a lot. It’s almost all Godzilla, Mothra, and Gamera. You know, the big guns. Then, there is something called Zarkorr! The Invader.
This is not a well-known, or a well-received, movie. It was supposed to be a theatrical release, but it went straight to video in 1996. It’s got a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. Wikipedia points out that some people had good things to say about it, but they were mostly about the monster. However, I get the feeling that there are kaiju fans who are just so into big monsters they like them all. Or maybe there was one dude into Zarkorr and decided to justify his love on Wikipedia.
The plot seems to involve aliens sending an 185-foot laser eyed monster to Earth. Some dude name Tommy and a pixie named Proctor join together to win and save Earth. Take about a manic pixie dream girl!
Also, Full Moon Features released the movie. That tells you everything you need to know.
My beloved Detroit Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 24th straight season. It isn’t an NHL record, but the teams that have longer streaks are from a bygone era of the NHL when there were less teams and a higher concentration made the playoffs. This is the most impressive playoff streak in NHL history, in my opinion. They have not missed a single playoffs in a season that began in the 90s, as the last time they missed the postseason was the 1989-1990 season. So, in honor of this, I wanted to take a look back at the pivotal year 1990. So I figured I’d just look at which songs hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
While the Wings were missing out in the playoffs, in the early part of the year, Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract” topped the charts for three weeks. You may remember that as the song where she performs alongside a rapping cartoon cat. In April/May, just when the playoffs would be happening, a fittingly somber song was number one. I’m talking about “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor. Then, in the summer, a message of hope rang out: “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips!
When the next season began, the one where the streak started, time was on people’s mind. Both George Michael’s “Praying for Time” and Mariah Carey’s “Love Takes Time” were atop the charts. The year ended with “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B at number one. It was there for four weeks. I have no idea what that song is.
I can eat my dinner at a fancy restaurant, but nothing compares to the Wings making the playoffs.
We have now done 90 episodes about 90s pop culture. To honor the occasion, we talked to returning guest Jeff Brown about the hit FOX show The X-Files. And, of course, the episode of The Simpsons that has Mulder and Scully in it. Also an unusual amount of Frasier.
Thanks to Jeff for joining us again. He is on Twitter at @TerribleJeff. He also does that MST3K podcast with Seth that the kids are always talking about. Anywho…
Ad-Rock is the king of Boggle. There is none higher. He gets 11 points off the word quagmire. This is a lyrics from a song on the Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty. It’s one of my favorite, even if it just apes a lyric from Run DMC. With intent, of course, and with the traditional impishness of the Beastie Boys. However, I never knew if this was actually true, because I didn’t know the rules of Boggle.
So, naturally, I just looked them up. Yes, quagmire would get you 11 points. That is because every word of eight or more letters is worth 11 points. It’s not like Scrabble, where different letters are worth a different amount of points. As such, the King Ad-Rock could get 11 points off the word treaties, which has a bunch of common letters. Of course, quagmire rhymes with higher, and beyond that it has a cool sound and it is idiosyncratic and stuff. There is no better word to use than quagmire in this context.
Also, in Boggle there is no “Q” tile. It’s a “Qu” tile, but it counts as two letters. There is no using the word qat in Boggle.
So Tales from the Crypt. That’s for adults, right? Like, it’s horror stuff for adults. To weird and mature and disturbing for children. The Cryptkeeper, or Crypt Keeper, is a gross looking dude, even if I now have an affinity for him due to The Flop House podcast. I mean, it wasn’t too out there. It has a bit of a campy and humorous bend to a lot of it. There are so many puns. He’s sort of a horror host in a way. One time there was a movie and Dennis Miller was in it.
As such, I was a bit surprised to find out that there was an animated program, for children, based on Tales from the Crypt. Really. It was called Tales from the Cryptkeeper, and it aired 39 episodes. It had two seasons in 1993 and 1994, and one in 1999. It aired on ABC. At 8:30 AM. Now, taking Tales from the Crypt and synthesizing it into a show for kids is kind of weird to me already. However, even for kids who are into this stuff, is it really apt for 8:30 in the morning? Like, I enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street. I wouldn’t want to watch it at 8:30 in the morning. This is a perfect analogy.
In truth, this sort of seems like a different take on Goosebumps type shit. It just happened to have Cornelius T. Cryptkeeper to lend some of his cache from his HBO show that I’m pretty sure had nudity and stuff in it, and definitely had gore.
The Detroit Tigers won their first game of the MLB season, which was awesome. David Price pitched for the Tigers, and, while he’s a douchebag, he pitched well so that’s cool. In honor of his performance, I went to YouTube to find a video for the Pavement song “Price Yeah” to post on Twitter alongside a pro-Tigers hashtag. I went with the video that was just the song, which comes from their pre-LP EP that is much more noise rocky but still good, but I did also notice that somebody had used the song “Price Yeah” to soundtrack a video dedicated to the character of Rachel from Friends.
This amused me for a couple of reasons. Most obviously, I found it charmingly odd that somebody made a tribute video to the most popular character from one of the most populist sitcoms of all time with an obscure, polarizing song from a great, bot not exactly world famous, band. Also, there are some more obvious choices. Of course, there’s “Cut Your Hair” which would work for a video about the Rachel haircut. Second, on that same EP that “Price Yeah” is on there is a song called “She Believes” which is both the best song on the album and also makes total sense.
I am not here to tell other people what to do with their art, but I can still lament a missed opportunity.