Existential Parachute Pants: A 90′s Pop Culture Podcast

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Olowokandiland

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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In the 90′s, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal both got video games. There’s more to that, though. They weren’t basketball video games. They had, like, fighting and stuff. Evil scientists and grenade basketballs and nonsense. But why did Air Jordan and Shaq get games when nobody else did? There was one other obvious choice. I speak of Michael Olowokandi.

Olowokandi was the first overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and then, from there, nobody can argue that he didn’t have a career. He was known as the Candy Man, and, as such, obviously what we needed was Olowokandiland.

It wouldn’t be like the board game Candyland, other than the fact candy would be involved. I imagine Olowokandi going through all sorts of candy levels in a side scroller. He could maybe throw basketballs at stuff, and jump on things. Oh, and then at the end of the level he has to jump up and dunk on a rim. But, it would be automatic, like when you ended a Mario level and he just took himself into a pipe or whatever. You get to the end of the level, you pick up, like, a big gumball, and you dunk it. Because candy.

There would be evil candy bad guys. At a certain point you have to decide if the candy is going to be an aesthetic, or if they will be good guys and the bad guys will be, like, vegetables, or if candy will also be villains. There would be candy villains. Maybe the big bad is a giant chocolate bar that shoots chocolate at you? These are all good ideas.

Now, all I need is somebody to get me back to 1998 so I can pitch this.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

The Busboy’s Coming

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Since we just had the one-year anniversary of Existential Parachute Pants, and so this is the first post of the second year of this entity, I wanted to look at the second season of a classic show. I decided against The Simpsons, to get the second year off on the right foot. This whole endeavor gets perilously close to just being a Simpsons project at times. So, I went with Seinfeld, especially because it has an interesting second season.

The story behind Seinfeld is one of a show defying the odds and becoming the biggest hit in the world. The first few seasons weren’t even all that well seen at the time. A lot of fans didn’t seem them until reruns. The thing of it is, that might have been beneficial. The first couple seasons of Seinfeld aren’t that good. I mean, they’re fine, but I don’t know if there is a single great episode in the first two seasons.

The second season is only 12 episodes, and while it feels more like the Seinfeld we know and love than season one, it isn’t quite there. The pacing is slower. The stories are less complex. Their relationships, with one another and with other people, is weird at times. Yes, the second season has “The Chinese Restaurant.” Yes, that was a pretty bold idea. However, it isn’t all that funny of an episode. It’s more clever than anything else. It’s amusing, I enjoy it, but it’s not tremendous by any means. Also, James Hong favorited a tweet of mine once. Because I mentioned him in it. Because he was in an episode of The Bob Newhart Show that Pat Morita was also in. Hong plays a guy a character mistakes for the maitre’d, and for a moment it seems like it will be just like “The Chinese Restaurant” and I almost lost my mind. It’s all a fake out though. Oh, and the guy who played Uncle Leo was in an episode with Henry Winkler aka the motherfucking Fonz!

Now, season three? Season three is Seinfeld. You know what other show really took a step forward in season 3? The Simpsons. Also, a lot of shows. Like, a ton of them.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

Look How Far We’ve Come My Baby

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Today is July 22, 2014. That doesn’t really mean much in and of itself. It is not, from what I know, Christmas or Bastille Day or what have you. What it is, however, is the one year anniversary of Existential Parachute Pants. On July 22 2013, I made the first post on this blog. It was the beginning of a pop culture project I was excited for. I would be writing about 90′s pop culture, not from a place of nostalgia from a place of humor and criticism and… other stuff. Look, I will admit that there was no clear gimmick or point of view to Existential Parachute Pants. I just wrote what I felt like writing.

And I wrote every day. Not a single day in that time was there not a post on EPP. Although, funnily enough, I almost missed yesterday if only because I had a post saved as a draft and almost forgot to publish it. This was done with intention. I wanted to write new content every day, and I did, and I am pleased with myself. Sure, did I usually just screw around in Wikipedia until I found something that amused me most of the time? Absolutely, but in the process I found all sorts of pop culture from the 90′s I didn’t even know about. I enjoyed it. I gained knowledge, trivial knowledge but knowledge nonetheless, and then I wrote some stuff for the world.

Did all of this amount to much? I don’t know, and, frankly, my guess is not really. Was I hoping to find some traction or something? Sure. I mean, I work professionally as a freelance writer, mostly writing about pop culture and sports. OK, writing entirely about pop culture and sports. I felt like, maybe, 365 straight days of posts could be beneficial to me. Maybe somebody would stumble on something. Maybe I’d get some work. That hasn’t happened, and that’s disappointing, but that is what it is. I regret nothing about the project.

I don’t know how much you, the hypothetical you reading this, read of this blog. I hope you enjoyed it. Also, I realize I am saying a lot of this in the past tense. That is perhaps misleading. The Existential Parachute Pants blog is not ending. Like I said, I enjoy it, and like I said, I have received little to no practical benefit from it to this point. I’m not going to give up now. And, of course, the podcast is going strong. For any questions I have about the reach of this blog, the podcast seems to be doing well. Plus, I love pop culture, so it’s not like this is a cosmic hassle to me.

I hope that the first year of Existential Parachute Pants, the blog and the podcast, has brought you joy. We’ve had joy, we’ve had fun, I dare say we’ve ever had seasons in the Sun. Also, a lot of posts about The Simpsons and Weird Al and bizarre video games from the 90′s. As I stated on Twitter once, every time I write a new post and I have to put an image on it, I see some of the images from past posts, and it reminds me of all the ridiculous stuff I’ve been writing about. One of the first posts was imagining a Werner Herzog movie about the making of ALF. Get ready for another year of that.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

The Moon And The Stars In The Sky

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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The “song of the summer” is a topic that always gets broached this time of year. Right now, the leader in the clubhouse is Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” but that’s not the 90′s. I decided to dip into the 90′s to look for a song of the summer. I went to 1994, because it’s 20 years ago and yeah I know that’s arbitrary and stuff, but whatevs.

Anyway, there isn’t any real question about the song of the summer for 1994. From the week of May 21 through the week of July 30, “I Swear” by All-4-One was the number one song of the country. That’s pretty definitive. I remember this song. It’s OK. It’s from the days of R&B guy groups singing love songs and being popular. I mean, for pretty much the rest of 1994 Boyz II Men topped the charts with a couple different songs. In between it was “Stay” by Lisa Loeb. Man, 1994 was a soft year for music.

That also feels anathema to summer song style. It’s usually all about jams and dope beats and stuff. “I Swear” does not have. It has love declarations and stuff. That’s fine, but it’s not party music. Not even in 1994. Lisa Loeb would agree. Wait, “I Swear” is a cover of a country song! This changes everything.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

Watch Out For Snakes!

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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You may know the actor Richard Kiel because he was super tall and he was Jaws in the Bond movies, but not in Jaws, or even Jaws: The Revenge. I bet he could have played a shark. To a certain generation, he is probably best known for being in Happy Gilmore, playing the really tall guy.

He was also in Eegah!, playing the titular Eegah, who is some sort of caved man. It is well known in the MST3K world for the terribly ADR’ed line, “Watch out for snakes!” As such, I am disappointed that they didn’t have Kiel say “Watch out for snakes” during Happy Gilmore. I mean, there could be snakes on a golf course. It would have made sense. Maybe somebody who worked on the movie had seen that episode. They are comedy fans and all, but maybe they weren’t into Mystery Science Theater 3000. Although, I don’t even think they made any Jaws references.

Look, we’re talking about a movie about a crass hockey player turned golfer and he fights Bob Barker and people wear KISS masks. It wouldn’t have felt out of place. Then again, maybe they didn’t want to mix snakes and gators. Watch out for gators! Somebody could have said that.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

Existential Parachute Pants: A 90′s Pop Culture Podcast – Episode 52: The Simpsons

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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We decided to declare this our one-year anniversary episode, and as such we decided to talk about The Simpsons for one, final time. So, if you are tired of us talking about the greatest artistic achievement of mankind, you’re in luck. However, we did not merely talk amongst ourselves. Instead, we invited in Dr. Karma Waltonen, professor and co-writer of a book about teaching The Simpsons in the classroom, to join us. She knows her stuff, obviously, and we were happy to have her.

You can find Karma on Twitter here: @KarmaWaltonen. Also, you can find stuff out about her Simpsons related stuff at @Simpsonology. Check that stuff out if you enjoy The Simpsons, and I assume you do, because you are a human being of flesh and blood. Now, for the more traditional plugs for the Existential Parachute Pants podcast:

We are on the iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/existential-parachute-pants/id680253940 So give us a rating or subscribe or leave a comment. Look, we’ve given you 52 episodes, plus the bonus episode about The Phantom Menace with the terrible audio. To return the favor, could you perhaps just simply give us a rating or something? It takes pretty much zero time, and it allows us to grow in stature on iTunes, which remains the foremost source of podcasts for the everyman.

On the Twitter, we are at @ExistentialPant, @ChrisXMorgan, and @SethMacy, and on Facebook, we are also an entity: https://www.facebook.com/epp90

The theme song remains “Her Favorite Bra” by Dan Emery Mystery Band. Thanks for listening. It’s been a fine year of podcasting. We’ve certainly enjoyed ourselves. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well, as the passive listener with no stake in Existential Parachute Pants.

The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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The Saturn Awards are kind of ridiculous. they claim to honor the best in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but that’s largely bullshit. They throw all sort of stuff in there. Austin Powers 2 got a nomination, and it was for Heather Graham! So, they are pretty loose on their definitions of genre and of talent. With all due respect to Heather Graham. She seems like a nice enough woman, and she was good in Boogie Nights. She just found herself in the way of a joke en route.

Anyway, I want to take you back to 1994, when the award for Best Actress was a tie. Both Sandra Bullock, for Speed, and Jamie Lee Curtis, for True Lies, won. These are such different performances in such different films, I found it worth nothing.

Both are the female leads, but these films have different ideas of female leads. Bullock drives the bus in Speed. She’s the wheel man for Keanu Reeves. She’s in on the action and stuff. It’s a solid role. Also she’s the love interest, and that feels tacked on, but whatevs. It’s a movie, and people like that stuff and it isn’t completely far fetched or clumsy. I don’t really like Speed, but Bullock is good in it, and it is a reasonable role in an action movie that is not sci-fi, fantasy, or horror. It’s a thriller! Now Maximum Overdrive, there’s a horror movie. I think. Stephen King directed that shit. What a fucking asshole.

Meanwhile, what of Curtis in True Lies? Well, first she is a mousy housewife who almost sort of has an affair. Than her husband tricks her into thinking she is part of some government plot, and basically asks her to striptease for another man, but that man is her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s pretty creepy. Also, she cat fights Tia Carrere in low cut cocktail dresses and at one point she drops a gun, because ew guns and she’s a girl, and then the gun shoots a bunch of people. It’d be funny in a different context, maybe. But True Lies just piles it on.

True Lies is awful. It’s kind of racist, and pretty sexist, and so I often forget its a James Cameron movie, and not a Michael Bay movie. It’s sort of a joke, but not enough of a joke. Also, Curtis isn’t that good in it. She really gets nothing to do other than her creepy striptease scene. Also, this movie is not sci-fi nor fantasy nor horror.

Bullock got a good role and did well with it. Curtis got an awful role and didn’t do anything with it. And they shared a Saturn Award. Also, to be honest, Curtis has not had a great career, at least substance wise. She started as a scream queen. Then, she made Trading Places, and that is another pretty poor movie, only really notable for Curtis provided the most gratuitous nudity I have ever seen. Not in quantity, but in the quality of the gratuitousness. I mean, she was good in New Girl. And she sells that yoghurt. And she’s been rocking the pixie cut for as long as anybody. That’s something.

Bullock, meanwhile, racks in the awards and is generally thought of as one of the best actresses of her generation. That’s maybe a bit much, but she’s good. Van Johnson good.

Oh, and the Saturn Awards are kind of dumb, but Karen Allen won for Raiders of the Lost Ark, so they aren’t all bad.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

Jughead’s Folly

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Archie Comics, which are still a thing, have been in the news a bit recently, because Archie is going to die. But, like it’s adult Archie and its a different book than the original Archie book and stuff. I, admittedly, don’t know much about Archie. I know enough to find Archie Meets The Punisher awesome and funny, and I know some of the references because of The Simpsons and also to a degree Seinfeld. That’s where I learned there is a Mr. Weatherbee. Or maybe it’s Weatherby. It could be a lot of things.

Anyway, I decided to look up some of the different Archie Comics books, and there have been many over the years, to try and find the most amusing one. Honestly, I didn’t finish looking through the list, because I came across Jughead’s Time Police.

Dudes, Jughead was a Time Bobby. They only did a handful of books of Jughead’s Time Police, but one was enough to change the course of human events. Jughead is the dude in the crown, and I think maybe he likes hamburgers? Also, was Big Boy a big boy, or a man named Big Boy? I think he’s a child, because they had comics for kids with a kid Big Boy, but the big logo of him isn’t overtly childish. I mean, sometimes you can sort of see it, but other times he doesn’t look like a kid, and his body doesn’t really give anything away. It’s weird. It has nothing to do with Archie, but I just started thinking about burgers and stuff.

Anyway, Jughead gets a special beanie, and it lets him travel through time by thinking. Also, there is a woman from the 29th century that is his partner. Her name is January McAndrews, and she is a descendent of Archie’s, and a love interest for Jughead. Anytime and any place, man, they can get freaky. Morgan Le Fay was the villain. There was also some sort of thing called Jughead’s Folly. I have no idea what it was, but I enjoy that name very much. Funnily enough, joining the Time Police apparently was not Jughead’s foremost folly.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

Upper Peninsula Related Humor

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Yesterday, Weird Al Yankovic released a new album. However, I’ve talked about him a lot on this blog, because he was big in the 90′s and because I tend to fall back on my hobby horses when I don’t have a lot of time to write something. So, I didn’t want to just delve back into Weird Al yet again. I respect you too much, dear reader. It’s a real problem. I hold you in such high esteem, and I just want to please you, often to my detriment. Why won’t you love me? I’ve given my whole world to you. Anyway, I’m hear to talk to you about a different novelty musician.

Basically, I went to the Wikipedia page for American novelty musicians, and one stuck out to me. Maybe it wouldn’t have to you, if you aren’t from Michigan. I am, and so Da Yoopers struck me. I hadn’t heard of them. You haven’t heard of them. However, they have released CDs and stuff, so they count. They are musicians making music, you know? First, a little background information. The Upper Peninsula has a series of stereotypes ascribed to it. Basically, think of Minnesota in Fargo. Now, add the fact they call themselves “Yoopers,” and drop in the “Da” from “Da Bears.” There, you’ve got it. You’ve got the joke here, I reckon.

Back in 1975, some folks from the Upper Peninsula formed a sketch and music group called Da Yoopers. They got on Dr. Demento and stuff. In the 90′s, they released four albums. One of them was a parody of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” called “Grandma Got Run Over By a Beer Truck.” Yes, Da Yoopers did a parody of a comedy song that is already very silly. They’ve released several albums after the 90′s, but not a one since 2006, although Wikipedia indicates they are still active.

They also own a gift shop/museum combo called Da Yoopers Tourist Trap up in the… Upper Peninsula. There is a big chainsaw there.

This all sounds incredibly tedious.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.

Stupid Best Friend Flanders

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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As I have mentioned previously on this blog, because I am running out of things to say, not just as a curator of pop culture but as a human being, I have been watching a lot of The Bob Newhart Show. I have grown quite fond of the character Howard Borden, played by sitcom legend Bill Daily, although he is in part a legend for this role itself. Howard is that foremost staple of many sitcoms, particularly multicams. I speak, of course, of the wacky neighbor.

Ah, the wacky neighbor. Light of my life. Fire of my loins. The wacky neighbor gets to show up and crack wise and be beloved and anticipated, and then they leave and that’s it. Sometimes you see their place, but mostly they are in the main apartment or house of the show, or maybe in the yard. Perhaps occasionally they are seen in the wilderness, like Harry and the Hendersons, but if the show was about the Hendersons’ neighbors. What a show that would have been. A sitcom about a family who get into all sorts of scrapes and also their neighbors have a sasquatch living with them.

Anywho, I only wish I knew more about 90′s sitcoms so I could really laud some wacky neighbors. I mean, there’s Kramer, of course. Kramer is the quintessential wacky neighbor, at least of the 90′s. He gave Seinfeld a jolt of energy, a manic outlet for Jerry’s wry, dry observations. But, then, I kind of draw a blank. In a way, Joey and Chandler were wacky neighbors on Friends, but they were too central to the stories. Phoebe wasn’t really anybody’s neighbor, I think. A lot of shows didn’t spend much time at homes. There were no wacky neighbors on Saved by the Bell, you know?

Then, there is the other neighborly sitcom staple; the wise neighbor. Like Wilson, on Home Improvement. Oh, I just remembered Kimmy Gibbler. OK, back to wise neighbors. Well, maybe it’s just Wilson I can think of, but there are more. I kind of wanted to say Ned Flanders, but that’s not quite right. He’s more a foil the Homer. Yin to Homer’s Yang. And, as a resident of Springfield, he became a real, fleshed out character himself. I came to really enjoy the relationship between Homer and Ned. There’s a moment in one episode where Homer, instead of his usual “Stupid Flanders” comment, says, “Stupid best friend Flanders,” and it’s funny because it is sort of true. Ned and Homer are kind of best friends. It used to be Barney, but then Barney was driven further and further to the margins of the show. Lenny and Carl are friends, but not as close to Homer as Ned arguably is. Why, who else does Ned have in this world? He’s had two wives die.

Wacky neighbors are a fun trope of sitcoms. They existed before the 90′s. They’ve existed after. Sometimes they have ventriloquist dummies that come to life if a show is starting to really come unglued.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter.