Archive for August, 2008

Away For A Bit

Posted in Sites of Interest with tags , , , , , on August 28, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith

I’m off to Amsterdam for the weekend. To celebrate my absence please enjoy this trailer for Confessions of an Opium Eater starring the sublime Vincent Price courtesy of the equally wonderful Trailers From Hell website. What’s more you can choose to watch the trailer with or without a commentary from the fabulous Joe Dante!



What’s My Line?

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith

Time for another repost. This one comes from an ill fated James Stewart blog I tried out earlier this year.

Here is James Stewart’s appearance on the popular US game show What’s My Line? This particular episode dates from 10th November 1963. The idea behind the show was for the panel to guess the occupation of the mystery guest by asking simple yes or no question. For every question the panel asked to which the answer was “No” the contestant would gain more points. Each week there would also be a mystery celebrity guest; this is why the panellists in this clip are wearing blindfolds. Enjoy.

The show’s popularity was such that the producers were able to arrange an impressive range on celebrity guests for the series. Some, like Jerry Lewis, Peter Cook, Johnny Carson and Groucho Marx, would appear on the panel and try to guess the occupation of the various mystery guests. Others like Stewart would appear as the mystery guest and attempt as best as possible to disguise their, often very famous, voice. The latter category included guests like Alan Alda, Woody Allen, June Allyson, Lucie and Desi Arnaz, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astair and many, many others. In fact those are just a selection of the guests whose last name begins with A!

You can see the trouble Stewart has in disguising his voice here. His after all was perhaps the most recognisable in Hollywood. Never the less I think he does a pretty good job and he gets to show off his comedic side, playing up to his own persona much to the audience’s delight.

To me the most fascinating aspect of this clip is the motion picture Stewart is there to plug, Take Her, She’s Mine in which he plays an overprotective father whose beautiful daughter is heading off to college. In particular he mentions visiting Texas on a promotional visit. Generally Take Her, She’s Mine is not regarded as one of his better vehicles, just a fun throw away comedy, but to me this represents a tangible link to one of my favourite actors. I own a ticket to the premier of the film from that Texas showing! And here it is:

Not much of a connection I know but it does strengthen my belief in the interconnectedness of all things!

I highly recommend seeking out episodes of What’s My Line? as they are often hilarious and a nice alternative to the modern suspense filled game shows we see today.

Chuck Amuck

Posted in Sites of Interest with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith

My good friends Mike and Dean over at The Nutty Nut News Network have just posted a great interview with Chuck McCann on their site which you can visit by clicking here. (Note that the audio file should start playing as soon as the page loads)

McCann is a voice artist, actor and one time children’s television host whose body of work is quite extraordinary. He’s also a Laurel and Hardy fan and does the best impression of Stan and Ollie I have ever heard!

More things to come…

Posted in Marx Brothers with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith

If I pull my finger out!

Legible Me

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith


I used to buy Doctor Who magazine on a monthly basis, only giving up after it went all glossy and slid up the collective backside of BBC Cardiff. And although I still have all of the issues I bought I probably haven’t touched them in something like a year and a bit. This all changed earlier this week when I needed to make a trip to the loo. Doctor Who Magazine makes perfect toilet reading: FACT. There is always something worth rereading in either the most meagre of issues and the features are not so long that they end up giving me leg cramp.

On my way to powder my nose I grabbed the first copy of DWM to hand. I say to hand but really I had to rummage past serveral boxes of assorted shite/collectables to get to them. At random I chose  issue number 340 from March 2004 (cover above) and headed off to do my mucky business. It was to my surprise then to find, on page 33, me! Tucked away in a little boxout in the top right corner a 17 year old Andrew Smith from Gateshead pontificates upon the not so finer points of the classic serial Death to the Daleks. Twice! Those of you with too much time on their hands can read that very page below. 

(Click to enlarge)

I remember the excitement of seeing my name in print within the pages of my favorite magazine when it first his the newsstands and four years later that same feeling was still their. This isn’t the only time I got a letter printed in the magazine but it’s the only one you’re ever going to read as the others are far too embarrassing.

This strange coincidence does raise one unnerving question. Has my ego invaded my subconscious? I picked the magazine at random but could my subconscious mind have pointed me in the direction of an issue with my name inside? A scary thought. I guess the only way I will find out is to randomly select a tape from the ITV local news archives and see whether it contains footage of a 10 year old me doing a rain dance at primary school during the weather forecast.

What have I let myself in for?

Posted in Ramblings, Sites of Interest with tags on August 5, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith

Last night I watched an episode of Crossroads for the first time and very much enjoyed it. I now have a stack of episodes spanning several discs ready to eat into my television viewing time. As if the backlog isn’t big enough already.

As a favour to my friend Mr. GCG I have written a little mini review of my first episode for his Crossroads weblog which you can read by clicking the image link above.

Underground, Overground, Wiffling Free

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2008 by Andrew T. Smith

“At last an update!” I hear you cry in unison. Presented for you listening pleasure here is an interview I conducted with friend and author Bob Fischer almost two years ago on the subject of fandom. This was originally done for a university documentary project but now has regained relevance as an early trailer of the material that was to become Bob’s wonderful new book, Wiffle Lever to Full.

I will happily point out my bias at this point, I’m very fond of Bob and his long suffering girlfriend. I know several of the people mentioned in this book personally. Nevertheless I feel that if I had come to this work without any prior knowledge of the subject I’d still find it warm, amusing, touching and a very pleasurable way to spend several hours. If you feel so inclined you can buy a copy of the book at all good bookshops as well as via any on line retailer worth their weight in ten inch Christopher Eccleston action figures.

This interview has been edited to remove my own questions. I was rather sick on the day and my coughs, sniffs and general moaniness only serve to distract from Bob’s wonderful answers. It runs to about thirteen minutes. It isn’t specifically about Wiffle Lever to Full but I think a percentage of the book’s positive outlook on all things geeky comes across. I hope you think it does the book justice.

Apologies for the poor audio quality, youtube is the only free file host I know of. Any suggestions for improvement are gratefully received.