New Wave Music–DEVO, Talking Heads, Blondie, Elvis Costello–Gets Introduced to America by ABC’s TV Show, 20/20 (1979)

≡ Category: Music, Television |Leave a Comment

Given the efforts of people like Malcolm McLaren to turn punk rock into a viable commercial product—or at least a quick cash grab—it’s a little surprising it took as long as it did for “pop punk” to find its profitable 90s/oughties teenage niche.


David Lynch Directs a Mini-Season of Twin Peaks in the Form of Japanese Coffee Commercials

≡ Category: Food & Drink, Television |Leave a Comment

I recently read Merry White’s Coffee Life in Japan, a history of the west’s favorite beverage in the Land of the Rising Sun.


Mr. Rogers Goes to Congress and Saves PBS: Heartwarming Video from 1969

≡ Category: Education, History, K-12, Politics, Television |4 Comments″>much

What kind of delusional self-aggrandizer, called to testify before a United States Senate Subcommittee, uses it as an opportunity to quote the lyrics of a song he’s written… in their entirety!?
Sounds like the work of a certain rapper/prospective political candidate or perhaps some daffy buffoon as brought to life by Ben Stiller or


Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting Is Now Free Online: Watch Season 1

≡ Category: Art, Television |10 Comments

Aspiring painters, take note. As of today, you can watch Season 1 of The Joy of Painting, the PBS show hosted by painter Bob Ross. The educational show first hit the airwaves in January, 1983, and ran through May, 1994.


David Lynch Draws a Map of Twin Peaks (to Help Pitch the Show to ABC)

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“How did this even get on the air?” Both the die-hard fans and bewildered haters asked that question about Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s surreal television drama that famously aired on ABC primetime in 1990 and 1991.


Watch Vincent Price Turn Into Edgar Allan Poe & Read Four Classic Poe Stories (1970)

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Can you have a Halloween without Edgar Allan Poe? Sure you can — but here at Open Culture, we don’t recommend it.


A Young Hunter S. Thompson Appears on the Classic TV Game Show, To Tell the Truth (1967)

≡ Category: Books, Television |1 Comment

Once upon a time, avant-garde composers, surrealist painters, and Gonzo journalists made guest appearances on the most mainstream American game shows. It doesn’t happen much anymore.


When Frank Zappa & Miles Davis Played a Drug Dealer and a Pimp on Miami Vice

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For all the neon-Ferrari-and-raw-silk garishness the show now seems to embody, Miami Vice (1984-1990) paid uncommon attention to cultural detail. Music, for instance, didn’t get thrown onto its soundtrack, but carefully selected to reflect both the mid-80s zeitgeist and the aesthetic of a particular episode.


Bob Dylan Appears in Rare TV Ad: Watch IBM’s Super Computer Offer a Literary Analysis of His Songs

≡ Category: Music, Television |5 Comments

To my knowledge, Bob Dylan has only appeared in a handful of TV commercials over the decades, including most notably a bizarre ad for Victoria’s Secret back in 2004. Now you can add another to the small list. Last night, IBM debuted a new ad with the iconic singer-songwriter. And this time around, Dylan isn’t peddling bras.


The Night Ed Sullivan Scared a Nation with the Apocalyptic Animated Short, A Short Vision (1956)

≡ Category: Film, History, Television |4 Comments”>Animal

On May 27, 1956, millions of Americans tuned in to The Ed Sullivan Show, expecting the usual variety of comedians, talents and musical guests. What they weren’t prepared for was a short animated film that Sullivan introduced thusly:
Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped.


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