Believe it or not, I have never seen The Karate Kid.
I know, right? Hasn’t everybody seen it? Well, sure, except for guys like me, who were totally and prematurely embittered towards the entire experience. Guys who were in sixth grade when The Karate Kid came out.
Somehow, in 1987, I convinced my father to drive me to a joke shop in Paterson, New Jersey.
In the back, there’s a kiddie pool. JOKES, PEOPLE! JOKES!
The name of the place escapes me; it was unremarkable, something like “[X] Joke & Novelty”. Three years later, hunting for liquor and without proper ID, my friends and I were chased away from this very same area by a man swinging a chain over his head. Alongside Newark and Camden, Paterson is one of Jersey’s finest hellholes.
So getting my dad to drive me out there for gag items was quite the coup. I wanted a realistic fake faucet that could be attached to the forehead. I got much, much more. Continue reading →
Fame is a funny thing. When it gets too big, it works against you, and you become overexposed. You’ve seen it time and time again; a company pushes a performer or a movie so hard, you can’t recall a time when you weren’t sick of them. Even their positive qualities become tiresome.
Then eventually, we acknowledge their talents, allowing that they were revealed during a time of intense corporate saturation.
Before 1986, there were three television networks; CBS, NBC, and ABC. Then in October of that year, Fox became the fourth, co-founded by the tyrant Rupert Murdoch. Fox would introduce a slate of unusual programming over the following two years, which included Married… With Children, The Arsenio Hall Show, 21 Jump Street, and a variety program (with animated bumpers) called The Tracey Ullman Show.