Humor Mags #6: Cracked Predicts Life in the 21st Century

The July 1983 issue of Cracked magazine contained an article titled "Life in the 21st Century". This piqued my interest - what would this humor magazine from 30 years ago say about the world I'm living in?  The article is woefully short - a mere three illustrated pages.  Still, beggars can't be choosers.  let's dive in!

Cracked kicks things off with a rather astute prediction: shopping will be done online.  I'd say they nailed it.

To be honest, I won't shed a tear when online shopping completely takes over.  When America still had thriving downtowns, it had character and it supported local store owners.  When downtown dried up, we at least had the mall.  Now those have largely been replaced by the outdoor shopping centers.  Who actually needs to drive to a Bed, Bath and Beyond or Banana Republic?


Pancakes #13: Pancake Comics

Little known fact: back in the seventies, they tried to capitalize on the pancake craze by releasing a line of pancake comic books. In an effort to grab even more buyers, the company made the, now infamous, decision to market them for all ages. Like disco, the idea would be taken from the adult underworld and distributed for the masses.  Sounds like a viable plan, right?

It was an unmitigated disaster. The publishers vastly underestimated the force of the Sexual Revolution in full swing.  The comics literally couldn't make it through a few panels without things erupting into full blown pancakes, clearly forbidden by the Comics Code Authority.

So, the pancake comics never made it to the shelves, and the valiant attempt at bringing pancakes to the mainstream was lost and forgotten..... until now.  Retrospace is proud to announce that we have uncovered the original master copies of the never-before-released comic, and are presenting it to the public for the first time.


The Boob Tube #46: Weekend 1981 Schedule

 Here's a pictorial schedule for the weekend of January 3-4, 1981.  I certainly have a lot of memories of this schedule; I was old enough to remember these shows vividly.  I'll refrain from commenting on them (I could say volumes - for me, this was the Golden Age of Television).  Instead, I'd like to hear your memories and thoughts on this weekend lineup.

Mini Skirt Monday #161: Minis on Television

Here's a potpourri of television minis.  We've covered individual shows before (Logan's Run, Bewitched, Star Trek, Hawaii 5-0, and Gilligan's Island to name a few). Today, however, we'll look at a miscellany of minis, many of which you will probably recognize from previous posts.  I'd love to give you all brand spanking new ones, but such is life.  What it lacks in quality it hopefully makes up for in quantity.  Enjoy.


Ads #72: Undergarments

In this post you'll not only get acquainted with gobs of underwear models, but you'll also meet Sloggi the Perverted Bear.  Plus, there's subtle lesbianism, possible illegal sex trade operations, and an erotic ham sandwich.  What are you waiting for?

Yes, I know.  There's no male undergarments in this post. Retrospace is often overtly hetero-male-centric. But there's certainly nothing stopping you bloggers from making a vintage boxer short and grippy post - in fact, I'd be happy to link to it.  Fair enough?  let's move on...

Ads #73: More Music Ads

As a general rule, I don't care for country music.  However, the outlaw country of the seventies and even early eighties is among my favorites.  Waylon Jennings, Bocephus, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, etc.  This was the Golden Age of country music in my book.  It's interesting to see pictures of Waylon and Hank back when they were clean cut, because the contrast is just plain striking.

Larger Version

Alas, Zager & Evans ended up a one-hit-wonder.  Perhaps they shouldn't have followed up their number one hit with a song about a rapist who nails his own wrists to his jail cell wall ("Mr. Turnkey").  Just a thought.

We're number two! We're number two! We're number two!...... in Canada.  (insert sound of air being let out of a balloon)

Larger Version
In 1975, Kim disappeared completely and re-emerged in the mid-1980s as Baron Longfellow. Go figure.

Clower actually started as a fertilizer salesman; he used his funny stories to make the sale. He's actually quite a funny guy, as evidenced by his 20+ LPs, some platinum.

You may know these identical twins from their long run on Hee-Haw; or perhaps you remember them from an episode of The Bionic Woman (they played cloned detectives).  Or maybe, just maybe, you remember them from their Playgirl appearance in 1973!


Dead Links!

Yep.  There's a lot of dead download links on Retrospace.  I've been getting a ton of emails notifying and complaining about this sad fact.  Indeed, sharity was one of the joys of operating this blog.  I've uploaded hundreds of comics, mix tapes, magazines, podcasts, and miscellaneous ephemera over the years.... and all of them are now sleeping with the fishes.

So what happened? Well, I got burned by the file sharing sites.  Rapidshare was perhaps the worst perpetrator, killing links with no notification whatsoever, later citing "copyright issues" and "bandwidth exceeded".  I tried several other services (i.e. Divshare and PowWeb for instance) and was similarly dicked around.

Imagine your frustration: You spend hours scanning a comic or magazine, then upload it to a site you are paying for..... only to have the link wind up dead because it received too much traffic.  After a while this stops being fun.  Blogging isn't a paying gig; it's a pleasurable hobby. File sharing misery sucks every ounce of pleasure out of the process.  So, finally I decided it just wasn't worth it.

So, you don't need to notify me that there's a hundred posts that are now rendered worthless.  Believe me, I know.  It grieves me to think all the toil that went into making FORTY FOUR podcasts amounts to zilch  If you know of a file sharing site that you are one hundred percent confident in, I'd like to hear about it.  Until such a fantastical place exists, Retrospace links will continue to be D.O.A.

Vintage Gams #4: Gamtastic Chorus Girls

As you all know, the further I get from the seventies, the further I get from my comfort zone.  The golden age of the chorus line is certainly a long ways from the Solid Gold Dancers, so I won't proclaim myself an expert on the subject.  However, it just wouldn't be right to have a series of posts devoted to vintage gams and not pay tribute to the chorus line.  I mean, is there anything in the world more "gam centric" than this?  Whether it's The Rockettes, The Ziegreld Girls, or MGM musical dancers - it's all about the "stems".


Album Covers #40

Oscar Brand and the Short Arms 1963
There's a joke on this cover, but I can't find it.  Are we to assume this man's member is also saluting?  What about the title of the record? The "cough" refers to a prostate exam, and this doctor is on the wrong side to be doing one of those.  Whatever's behind that curtain is making this doc do a double-take, and I am at once curious and disturbed.

[Update: This mystery has been thoroughly solved in the comments section.  Spoiler Alert: I'm an idiot.]

So, enjoy another round of vinyl curiosities, awful albums, record oddities, and laughable LPs.  In this corner of the retro universe, the well never runs dry.


Vintage Business #14: The Playboy Club Bunny Manual 1968-69

For this post, I have transcribed the entire 26 page Playboy Club Bunny Manual from 1968-69.  Within its pages you will learn what gets a Bunny a demerit and whether a Bunny can dance the Watusi in Atlanta (spoiler alert: she can't).  You'll also learn that Bunnies should keep their Bunny Hose in the refrigerator and the proper way to smoke a cigarette while on duty.

It sounds like the clubs had pretty strict rules; however, it sounds like a groovy place to work nonetheless.  Read the manual and see for yourself what work was like for the 1968-69 Playboy Club Bunny.  Enjoy.


Twisted Impressions #17: Captain Kirk's Dirty Mind

Who can blame the Captain for his bad habit of staring at his co-stars' assets?  Let's face it, the ladies of Star Trek were foxes, and they dressed accordingly.  Kirk, a man not known for his subtly, was like a kid in a candy store, and always giving in to the temptation.

It didn't help matters that James Tiberius was a classic case of Attention Deficit Disorder.  The last thing the man needed was a distraction set in front of him every five seconds.  Let's take a look at a handful of scenes where Captain Kirk is cold busted.


Retro Film Report #32: Films of 1973

There were a lot of good flicks to come out of 1973: Soylent Green, The Wicker Man, The Exorcist, Badlands, Coffee, The Mack, High Plains Drifter, and American Graffiti. Plus, the gritty drive-in and grindhouse pictures that would gain cult status years later were in full swing.  The restrictions were lifted on what movies could show, and the ratings board was asleep at the wheel.   Thus, movies began to plumb the depths of bad taste.  Like a preacher's daughter set free into the wild wild world, they seemed to revel in sin.

The Crazies, Mean Streats, Magnum Force, and Don't Look Now all came out in '73.  All are classics in my book, and all contain that trademark grittiness. Here's a look at a few more movies from the year. Perhaps you haven't heard of some; if you have, please feel free to give your take on some of the films.  I'd love to read them.


Vintage Wheels #20: Auto Equipment Ads

In March 2010 we did a couple posts on those sleazy auto parts ads - and by "sleazy" I mean wonderful and awesome.Well, I think three years is long enough to wait for a follow up, so here it is.


The Boob Tube #45: Ten Reasons to Love Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Please note that I've already done a post on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman back in July 2009, so I'll spare you the introduction.  Suffice it to say, it was a soap opera parody that pushed the envelope beyond measure.  It was a parody, yet stood on its own with intriguing characters, great acting, and an element of the bizarre that can only be equated with Twin Peaks.

This post is simply 10 reasons to love the show.  I could easily list a hundred, but I think you'll get my point.  Hopefully, this will have a domino effect and result in the release of all 400 plus episodes (as it stands, there's only a tiny portion of season one on DVD). While this may not be practical to release on disc, as Netflix did with Dark Shadows, I'd like to see them do the same with this series and make it available for streaming.  Dare to dream.


Found Photos #11

This is a totally random collection of photographic odds and ends that I found interesting.  Nothing to write home about, but definitely worth a look.  These are pictures that I've collected from various sources (flea market finds, yearbooks, magazine or newspaper clippings,etc.) that I'm not quite sure the context, but deserve some attention nonetheless.  Enjoy.


Comic Books #58: The Six Million Dollar Man

The Six Million Dollar Man, vol.3 no.9, June 1978
Script: Joe Gill
Art: Fred Himes and Pat Boyette
I thought it might be fun to take a walk through a relatively random comic from the seventies.  The Six Million Dollar Man (T6MDM) comics were released by Charlton and ended when the TV series ended.  There was a magazine version which was B&W and a bit more "adult" (with contributions by Neal Adams and Howard Chaykin), but this is the standard color comic. There's nothing particularly extraordinary about it, but it's still a lot of fun.  Let's dive in!


Vinyl Dynamite #48: Forever Vinyl

A lot of you young whippersnappers don't get it.  Who cares that records died out and were replaced by data files - it was just a round piece of vinyl, right?  Wrong.

I've extolled the virtues of vinyl before on Retrospace; so, I apologize for repeating myself.  But I think we're due for another round - this is a topic that bears repeating.  Plus, as usual, I've got lots of cool pictures if you don't feel like reading my diatribe.


The Boob Tube #44: The Rich Little Show

The Rich Little Show was a mid-season replacement in 1975, and somehow managed to last until 1976.  It was a time when everyone had their own variety show, so why not Rich Little?  Well, I'll tell you why not.

Before I launch into things, let me preface it by saying I have immense respect for Rich Little.  The guy definitely payed his dues on the talk show circuit, night clubs, and celebrity specials.  The dude was everywhere.  But he never quite connected with the younger generation the way, say a Steve Martin could.  His impersonations were of John Wayne, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Stewart and Groucho Marx.  Not exactly a kid friendly repertoire. Thus, I've never been much of a fan, but I can still appreciate his work.


Retro Film Report #31: If You Don't Stop It, You'll Go Blind! (1975)

 If You Don't Stop It, You'll Go Blind (1975) is just a collection of off-color jokes put to film.  Consider it a film adaptation of a dirty joke book.... which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lightweight, fun, ribald humor is a dead art. I think we're so inundated these days with much more graphic stuff, that cheeky humor just seems... well, a bit lame.  Perhaps it comes from being raised on Benny Hill, but I quite enjoy this type of comedy - a lot more than today's comedians which sort of remove the "fun" and replace it with very graphic often self-debasing personal stories.  Ugh.  Do your self-therapy in private, Jim Norton and Louie CK.

Mini Skirt Monday #160: Brought to You by the Letter E

We did the letter U back in March.  Today let's hit the letter E, and maybe in 78 months we'll have the whole alphabet!


Ads #71: Record Ads

Before iTunes and music videos, the way to promote a record was to have it played on the radio.  I guess that's still true to some extent.  Unfortunately, the record companies today own the radio stations, so there's a weird congenital thing going on that kind of makes me vomit.

But I digress.  The other way a label could support their artist's new release was to slap an ad in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Creem, or even Omni and National Lampoon.  Well, I've collected a bunch of ads for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.


Vintage Wheels #19: Biker Magazines (Part 2)

"Gilligan's biker mag post was a wake-up call to all men and women who call themselves writers.  Somewhere, Hemingway is smiling."
- Gore Vidal
My last post on biker magazines was so critically acclaimed, I figured it was time for a follow up.  Please save your ovations for the Pulitzer nominating committee.  I agree, it should be required reading in every school, but at the end of the day, I'm just an ordinary guy like everyone else.

So, enjoy the much anticipated sequel.  Signed leatherbound editions available by request only.


The Vintage Home #16: Sears '79

Is this not a total kick-ass kid's room? Sure, it doesn't exactly gel with the burnt orange carpet, but there's Star Wars curtains for chrissakes!  Note the predominance of Boba Fett on the bedding; for a character that figured into the story so little, the Mandalorian sure got a lot of limelight.

Also of importance: I had that large Chewbacca figure. But I honestly don't recall anyone having other over-sized action figures, except Darth Vader. That was it, right?

"No. There is another."

Mini Skirt Monday #159: The Mini Stands Out

To say the miniskirt stands out in a crowd would be stating the obvious.  In a room full of people, the male eyeball is instinctively going to hone in on the miniskirt - this isn't subjective, this is biology. It's almost as if the color and vibrancy of the rest of the room is dulled, while the mini stands alone in full splendor.

To play on this concept, I found some old B&W photographs and colorized the gals in minis   This is how the world looks in the presence of the mighty mini.  Enjoy.