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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Weekly Links: Anna Kendrick As 'Indianna Jones', New Pac-man Clip From 'Pixels', 1986 Pepsi Ad Inspires Short Story

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Links, your weekly source for the best '80s content on the web! Here's another reminder to enter The Atari 2600 Encyclopedia Volume One giveaway for a free iBooks download! Winner will be drawn last day of the month.

I'll be traveling next week so I probably won't get to post much content on the site or The Weekly Links. I will be sharing stuff on RD80s social media though so make sure you are plugged in (use the convenient Pac-man and ghost icons at the top of the homepage!)

Here are some RD80s headlines from this past week including a couple classic David Letterman memories:
The video that broke the internet this week just happened to be gloriously '80s. Check out a young Vin Diesel and friend showing off some pretty rad breakdance moves. You can now expect him to recreate the video on his next visit to a late night talk show.

TWL Video of the Week
"Vin Diesel Break Dancing" by eliotsands

Enjoy the rest of this week's links!!

1980s TV stars then and now - WMUR Manchester
After These Messages… - Pop Rewind

Pac-Man Is 35! - Retro Gamer
Gremlins ReAction - Plastic & Plush
1984 LJN Toys Dune Catalog - Plaid Stallions

6 Things We Loved About 'Press Your Luck' And The Whammy

One of my all-time favorite game shows was Press Your Luck, hosted by Peter Tomarken and starring the "Whammy" who bankrupted contestants. I vividly remember watching the show when I'd be home from school or afternoons when it was syndicated on the USA Network.

It's original run was from 1983-86 when I was 7-10 years old, the perfect time to attract Saturday morning cartoon addicts. The animated Whammy character was the reason we children of the '80s LOVED the show. We didn't care how much the contestants won...we just wanted to see the Whammy take it all away! But whether you were a sadistic kid like me or an adult who loved the thrill of winning "big bucks", Press Your Luck really delivered the goods.

Here are 6 things we loved about Press Your Luck that made it so much fun to watch for kids and adults alike...

Pop Culture Whammies - Several of my favorite Whammies were based on (or referenced) people from pop culture. The one above featuring the Boy George Whammy was my favorite. Others included Elvis, Cyndi Lauper, and Michael Jackson. The Breakdancing Whammy was pretty good too.

Spin Battles - One of the great elements of the show was that contestants were not only battling the board, but occasionally battled each other by passing spins and hoping their counterpart would land on a Whammy. The example above is one of the best "spin battles" in the history of the show.

Contestants attributing loved ones to a spin and then Whammy - The common phrase for contestants to shout during spins was "big bucks and no whammies!", but some people (like the first woman in the above video) would channel their loved ones for good luck. Others even brought their church into the mix like they were playing for charity or something. As if we needed any more reason to laugh, but thinking about the confrontation of these unlucky people when the contestant got home, made the situation even more funny.

The extended freak-out session the winners received at the end - Instead of cutting right to a commercial when the game was over, the theme music would play for about 30 seconds and we got to witness a pure freak-out session by the winner. Above are some of the best reactions to beating the Whammy.

That Guy Who Figured Out The Pattern - I vividly remember watching the Michael Larson episode as a kid. I stayed at a neighbor's house in the summer while my parents were at work and remember watching the dollar sign disappearing on Michael Larson's board. I couldn't imagine someone winning that much money with a chance to lose it all in one spin! Several years ago when the Game Show Network first became popular, one of the first appointment shows was the documentary that revealed exactly how Michael Larson won so much money. It remains as one of my favorite documentaries on '80s culture. Watch the full length documentary on YouTube.

When contestants danced along with Whammies - Some contestants were good sports and just were glad to be on the show (like the first guy in the video above.) That attitude showed through when contestants would dance or sing along when landing on a Whammy.

Want more? Check out the myPYL YouTube channel for 600+ complete episodes of Press Your Luck!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrate Mr. T's Birthday By Watching His Celebrity Roast From 1984

63 years ago today, Laurence Tureaud aka "Mr. T" was born in Chicago, IL. Through movies and TV shows like Rocky III and The A-Team, he became one of the most iconic characters of the '80s.

On February 23 1984, Mr. T was featured on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast and "roughed up" by several of his Hollywood counterparts. Among the guests were George Peppard, Gary Coleman, Bob Hope, Howard Cosell, Nell Carter, Ricky Schroder, and more who jabbed a few laughs from Mr. T and also told about his compassionate side.

As we celebrate his birthday today, take a rare look at Mr. T from 1984...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Great Scott! Doc Brown Returns In New LEGO Dimensions Trailer

LEGO really wants you to know about their new "Dimensions" sets coming September 2015. Last month we got a sneak peek of the colliding worlds of Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, Back to the Future, and the LEGO movie. Now with the 2nd teaser, Dr Emmett Brown himself receives a mysterious package...

It was great to see Christopher Lloyd in character again with the DeLorean safely parked in his garage. At 76 though, Doc is sure looking rough and was bittersweet to see him in action. Along with the promotion, here's a glimpse at Doc's set featuring his time-traveling locomotive.

The new Dimensions will also be a video game with characters able to travel to different worlds. Some franchises rumored to join the new universe are Ghostbusters, Scooby-Doo, and The Simpsons.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Q*Bert, Smurfs, & Back Story Featured In 2nd 'Pixels' Trailer

The 2nd official trailer for the new movie 'Pixels' starring Adam Sandler was released today. New characters including Q*Bert and a random Smurf are featured along with some back story. Take a look and then stick around for the official synopsis...

Released by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the trailer also included this official synopsis in the description:
As kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they’re going to have to do it for real. In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults -- and now-U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.
First, Kevin James is the president??? That might be more unbelievable then real-life arcade games. But seriously, the more I see of this movie, the more I get excited. I know trailers can deceiving but it appears the video games are the stars of this movie which I hope to be true. Catering to the children of the '80s should be the main objective with Sandler's humor sprinkled in. So far, 'Pixels' is on the right track and I can't wait to see it in July!

Did the 2nd trailer help or hurt your expectations for 'Pixels'?

Classic 'Late Night With David Letterman' Bits: Wacky Suits

As David Letterman says goodbye to the Late Show this week, let's rewind back to the '80s (when the show was called Late Night) and rediscover some of his classic bits. His childish and absurd segments in his early years were the foundation of the 6 Emmy awards the show received in the '90s.

One of the classic bits on Late Night was Dave's wacky suits. He would wear a custom suit and then "test it out" with some action point to the amusement of the audience. They were pretty inventive with the suits having some geared toward the humor side while others more scientific or experimental. But no matter the intent, each suit was very entertaining. Check out some of Dave's wackiest suits from his early years...

Velcro Suit - Dave meets a bonafide Velcro USA executive and shows the power of velcro.

Human Sponge Suit - Dave does his best Incredible Hulk impression using a sponge suit. Using a scale, Dave finds he's gained a little weight and checks in at over 500 pounds.

Alka Seltzer Suit - Dave dons a suit with 3,400 Alka Seltzer tablets attached and gets dunked in a tank of water to see what happens.

Magnet Suit - Paul Shaffer helps Dave conduct some experiments with a suit of magnets. The finale has Dave trying to stick to a large GE refrigerator.

Potato Chip Suit - Dave uses a potato chip suit and 1,900 pounds of dip to create the world's largest snack for the audience.

Rice Krispies Suit - This attempt to break the sound barrier includes a suit filled with Rice Krispies cereal and 150 gallons of milk.

Fire Suit of Marshmallows - Dave uses a fire resistant suit with 500 marshmallows to create a toasted snack for the audience.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Simple Minds Perform 'Breakfast Club' Hit At 2015 Billboard Music Awards

Introduced by Molly Ringwald, Simple Minds performed their biggest hit at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards last night to honor the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club. Ringwald first asked and then joined Taylor Swift's entourage in the front row for the performance with Jennifer Lopez also seen dancing along in the audience.

I don't much get into music award shows anymore, but I'm glad to see performances like this still happen. Simple Minds sounded great nearly 30 years to the day (May 18) that "Don't You (Forget About Me)" hit the #1 spot on the US pop chart. It's one of those tracks that instantly takes me back when I hear it now and last night was no different...

Fun fact: Molly Ringwald covered the song on her 2013 album Except Sometimes.

Classic 'Late Night With David Letterman' Bits: Destroying Stuff

As David Letterman says goodbye to the Late Show this week, let's rewind back to the '80s (when the show was called Late Night) and rediscover some of his classic bits. His childish and absurd segments in his early years were the foundation of the 6 Emmy awards the show received in the '90s.

One of the classic bits on Late Night was destroying stuff. Whether it was on top of a 5-story building or in front of 90-ton hydraulic press, Dave's destructive power was always good for a laugh. The gag would continue with his journey to the Late Show but mainly passing the damaging duties over to his staff. I remember staying up to watch during my high school years in the early '90s and then asking my pals the next day questions like "Hey, did you see them drop a bowling ball into the bathtub of pudding last night?" If you were easily amused like me, watching these calamitous events scratched a major "what would happen" itch. Here are some of best smashing, crushing, and destroying moments from Late Night with David Letterman.

Dave throws stuff off a 5-story roof including a keg of nails, a frozen turkey strapped to a parachute and a roof-clearing hail storm of objects.

The dropping fun continues with a boombox, assorted melons, and a slinky.

This final dropping segment includes a bag of peat moss, a bowling ball on a trampoline, and a lawn ornament finale you won't want to miss.

The destructive power of Late Night continues with a couple trips to a warehouse in NJ to crush the competition. Using a 90-ton press, Dave flattens a bowling pin, a plate of jelly doughnuts, and a dollhouse full of tomatoes.

More pressurized fun with an athletic supporter, Mr. Potato Head, and a canned ham put to the ultimate test.

Dave's antics also involved a steamroller running over bowling trophies, squashing Paul Shaffer's glasses, and trying to get that last little bit of toothpaste out of a tube.

Our final destructive bit from Late Night features a 3,000-pound block being dropped by a crane onto various items including a football helmet full of Jello, a cases of cap gun caps, and a lovely mannequin couple having dinner.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Weekly Links: Pac-man's 35th Birthday Party, R2-D2 LEGO Action Hero, Ecto Cooler Candles

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Links, your weekly source for the best '80s content on the web! First, I wanted to invite everyone to check out my review and giveaway of The Atari 2600 Encyclopedia Volume One book I just posted today. Some great visuals and facts throughout which make it a great reference guide or coffee table conversation piece!

So how about that Jem and the Holograms trailer? Should we even call it by that name? According to DOZENS of headlines I've seen this week, I'd say no. But just a little reminder to all you haters out there that were expecting more, director Jon Chu told us last year during the announcement video that the new movie would be a "modern day, live-action, reinvention of the 1980s Hasbro classic cartoon." To me, that supports what we see in the trailer. I was never really a fan so instead trying to formulate my own opinion, I'll just say that any faith placed in these modern-day remakes and reboots being true to the original needs to just die a quick, painless death.

Here are a couple more things I posted this week on RD80s in cased you missed them:
My fave video this week came to me courtesy Fast Company and is a throwback to 80s infomercials. The sunglasses company Tens decided to film a new commercial through the lenses of '80s television including actually filming on VHS tape! Yes! It has a killer soundtrack too so check it out.

TWL Video of the Week
"Instant Summer Vision - VHS INFOMERCIAL" by Tens

Enjoy the rest of this week's links!!


Jerry Seinfeld's masterful David Letterman appearances: Four killer 1980s stand-up sets from 'Late Night' - Salon

Watch Miley Cyrus And Ariana Grande Perform '80s Classic 'Don't Dream It's Over' - The Inquisitr
Brandon Flowers says new solo album The Desired Effect is eighties pop rock - The Daily Telegraph


These Should Exist: The Young Guns Edition - Branded In The 80s
One Size Fits All – UNITS. - Like Totally 80s
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