Tag Archives: MST3K

The Sifl and Olly Show

A time slot on a major cable network is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you couldn’t ask for a larger audience. On the other, you’re the property of the company store, and you bend to their whim.

For example, MTV aired Beavis & Butthead, but to pad out the episodes to sitcom-length, they inserted music videos with Mike Judge doing commentary in character. At the time, I could appreciate the necessity of this, being that ink-and-paint animation takes time to create. Still, it was obvious that the idea was cribbed from MST3K, and much of the music was unlistenable, or not worth the mockery.

MTV pulled the same jazz when they aired the extraordinary sock-puppet comedy The Sifl and Olly Show, from 1997 to 1999.

Videotape artifacts are subconsciously comforting.

Videotape artifacts are subconsciously comforting.

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Filed under Faint Signals, Nostalgic Obsessions, Thousand Listen Club

The Mute Button

Now that everyone has a smartphone, no one cares about remote control.


The remote control used to be a powerful object. Couples fought over it. Some televisions would not operate without one, necessitating a trip to the local Radio Shack for another “universal remote”. Dads would exact a stranglehold over the remote, and moms would hide it on purpose, feigning ignorance while secretly enjoying the resultant frustration.

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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Nostalgic Obsessions

Pleasant Surprises

thrills2In the second issue of Bands I Useta Like, I drew a retrospective entitled “Thrills”, wherein I delineated the major moments of excitement from a lifetime of moviegoing. Thrills come in varying qualities and intensities, from “cheap” to “absolute”. A milder one, that is no less desirable, is the “pleasant surprise“.

One of the first pleasant surprises I took notice of was during the documentary Citizen Shane, from 2004. It tells the true story of Shane Ballard, a rotund, porn-loving oddball who ran for sheriff of his hometown of Lowndes County, Mississippi at 22. Ballard was a talented audiophile whose mother was murdered under mysterious circumstances when he was a baby. Not long after the documentary’s release, Shane Ballard and director Ron Tibbett would also be deceased, under mysterious circumstances. Subcin, the site where I saw the film, is not currently active. Continue reading

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Filed under Faint Signals, Late To The Party, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee