Ubu Roi: Alfred Jarry’s Scandalous Play Strikingly Adapted for Television (1965)

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“Merdre,” the very first word spoken in Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, needs no introduction. When it first opened — and closed — on stage in 1896, it didn’t have to do much more than that to get its audience worked up.


Percussionist Marlon Brando Patented His Invention for Tuning Conga Drums

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Maybe you knew about Marcel Duchamp’s passion for chess. But did you know about Marlon Brando’s passion for conga drums? Longtime fans may have first picked up on it in 1955, when the actor gave a microwave-link television tour of his Hollywood Hills home to Edward R. Murrow on Person to Person.


Game of Thrones: A Great Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Show’s Visual Effects

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Maybe you’re a diehard Game of Thrones fan. Maybe you’re not. Either way, you’ll marvel at this behind-the-scenes video. The short clip was put together by Mackevision, one of the VFX (visual effects) studios that worked on Season 4 of the HBO series.


The Celebrity Encounters of Koko the Gorilla. For Her 43rd Birthday Today.

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Koko the Gorilla, who celebrates her 43rd birthday today, keeps pretty down-to-earth company for a celebrity.


5 Musical Guests Banned From Saturday Night Live: From Elvis Costello to Frank Zappa

≡ Category: Music, Television |5 Comments

A defining television moment of my generation—Sinead O’Connor’s infamous ripping up of a picture of Pope John Paul II on live television after an a cappella performance of Bob Marley’s “War”—was as baffling to most as it was offensive to many. (O’Connor offered many eloquent explanations for the act—mostly ignored.


David Bowie Stars in a Classic Performance of Bertolt Brecht’s Baal (1982)

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I don’t quite know why I instinctively associate David Bowie with Bertolt Brecht, but maybe the city of Berlin has something to do with it. The English rock star moved there in 1976 and (in collaboration with Brian Eno) recorded his influential “Berlin trilogy” of albums – Low, “Heroes”, and Lodger.


Watch 1970s Animations of Songs by Joni Mitchell, Jim Croce & The Kinks, Aired on The Sonny & Cher Show

≡ Category: Animation, Music, Television |1 Comment

The Sonny and Cher Show aired in the years right before I was born. Not only do I have no memory of it, of course, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an entire episode, either in re-runs or on the internet.


Watch the First Animations of Peanuts: Commercials for the Ford Motor Company (1959-1961)

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Bill Watterson, creator of arguably the last great comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, wrote the following about perhaps the greatest comic strip ever. “Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip, so even now it’s hard to see it with fresh eyes. The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty….


Watch 1990s Video of Sacha Baron Cohen Playing Christo, the Proto Borat (NSFW)

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In 2005, a hirsute Kazakh journalist named Borat Sagdiyev ventured to America to make a documentary about “the Greatest Country in the World.


Tim Burton’s Hansel and Gretel Shot on 16mm Film with Amateur Japanese Actors (1983)

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The Disney Channel aired Tim Burton’s Hansel and Gretel only once, on Halloween night in 1983, but it must have given those few who saw the broadcast much to ponder over the following three decades.


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