Harry Anderson - Cheers - Harry the Hat

Rest In Peace: Harry Anderson (1952 – 2018)

Friends, a little earlier today the Retroist made an announcement, down here in the Vault. It appears that Harry Anderson passed away today at age 65. I have to tell you in all honesty, I sat here in the control booth and had to fight back some tears. You see, Harry Anderson was indeed a role model for me in my youth. Thanks to his role as Judge Harold T. Stone in the hit NBC series, Night Court. I became a huge fan of magic, stylish hats, and of course the crooning of Mel Torme.

[Via] Taxiiggy

I truly idolized Anderson. I attempted to adopt his sense of humor in interviews and roles on television. As well as his style of clothing, soon after entering Junior High School, I was always sporting a fedora. Even his hair style is something I attempted to copy. My Family barber was rather taken aback when I brought in a photo of Anderson, asking him to style my hair in a similar fashion.
Harry Anderson - Night Court

I suppose it was Harry Anderson’s craft in stage magic or illusion that endeared him to me the most. I was certainly surprised that I never caught any of his 8 appearances on Saturday Night Live. However I did manage to see him perform a few times on The Tonight Show. Like in this 1987 episode, where he entertains Johnny Carson and the audience with a levitation trick. One that was developed by Daniel Dunglas Home, an 19th century physical medium.

[Via] Phil Ackerly

Kudos to Johnny Carson of course in that clip for knowing how to go to commercial in style. One of the things I also appreciated about Harry Anderson was his honesty. He never shied away from talking about his days as a con man. A street magician at the tender age of 17. A fast-talker much like the character he played in Cheers. All in all, he appeared in 6 episode as Harry ‘The Hat’ Gittes between 1982 and 1993.

[Via] Scruffy Scotsman

From his roles in the 1988 remake of The Absent-Minded Professor, Tales from the Crypt, Stephen King’s It, as well as Dave’s World. I followed Anderson through them all and was always entertained. It’s hard to lose an idol but at the very least we have so many of his performances left behind to enjoy. Obviously we will dim the lights in the Vault’s auditorium in his honor.

Take a moment and enjoy Harry Anderson explaining how card tricks work. In addition while on the set of Night Court!

[Via] Northstars 007

Retroist Gymkata Podcast

Retroist Gymkata Podcast

This week’s Retroist Podcast is about the 1985 cult film classic, “Gymkata” I begin the podcast talking about my first exposure to the film. How I found the concept of combining gymnastics and karate compelling at first, but ultimately came to find this idea strange. Finally I summarize my own martial arts style and how you can master it.

I first recorded this show 3 years ago and never finished editing it since I did not like how it sounded. So I re-recorded it and thought this version was a bit better.

On the show, I discuss the plot of the film before moving onto the people in front of and behind the camera, how well Gymkata was received, and much more.

Only a couple of episodes left for this season of the Retroist Podcast. I am already planning the next season. So if you have ideas, feel free to send them to me.

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Listen and download the Retroist Gymkata Podcast


Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great week.

The Bridge - Peter J. Tomasi - Sara DuVall - Abrams Comicarts

The Bridge Is A Beautiful And Moving Graphic Novel

It shouldn’t shock a single soul that visits this site, that history is important to us. Sure, we spend most of our writing time pointing out the best in retro pop culture. However, even then we have constantly gone back and shared real moments of history. Whilst in my case it might focus more on horror films, video games, and animation. The truth is I of course am always eager to learn more about significant history. Which is exactly the case with Peter J. Tomasi and Sara DuVall’s upcoming graphic novel, The Bridge. I have not had the pleasure of reading a more entertaining as well as fascinating graphic novel in some time.

Abrams Comicarts was kind enough to send me a review copy of The Bridge. I picked it up last evening to read, and the 200 pages all but flew by. I will certainly admit I had never heard of Washington and Emily Roebling before opening the book. Nor of course, was I aware of how truly remarkable a journey Washington’s life had been. Thankfully through Peter J. Tomasi’s dream project, in addition to the beautiful artwork by Sara DuVall. You too will have the chance to find out, the type of vision and determination that was needed to see the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. As well as the absolute toll it took on both Washington’s health and the tragic loss of life it required to bring such a marvel of engineering to fruition.
The Bridge - Brooklyn Bridge

Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay Tomasi is he forced me to seek out more books about the Roeblings. The Bridge starts out in 1852, with a young Washington in some ways being molded by John Roebling, his Father. Or rather being forged into the type of person who could successfully bring about the Brooklyn Bridge. A project planned out by John and begun with his Son in 1869. It was however Washington who oversaw the actual construction.
The Bridge - Sara DuVall

A Civil War veteran, whose actions would be quite befitting a film itself, Washington Roebling wasn’t alone in his vision of the bridge. Emily Roebling proved what those of us who live in an “enlightened” age already know. There is not a single job or task that a Woman isn’t equally capable of performing. When her Husband’s health was threatened, it was Emily who ensured the project was on schedule. Supporting the Roeblings was a dedicated crew, men truly risking their lives to see the dream take shape. Just as, of course, Washington did himself – which is how he earned that respect.
The Bridge - Washington Roebling

With Tomasi and DuVall’s The Bridge, I have no doubt you will be just as amazed as I was. The story is both exhilarating and uplifting, a reminder of the good that can be accomplished for a noble endeavor. You can pick up a copy of the book on April 17th at better book dealers everywhere. Of course you can visit Abrams Comicarts official page to pre-order your copy today.

While you are waiting to grab your copy of The Bridge. Why not check out this clip from PBS America?

[Via] PBS America

Are You Familiar with BEST Products’ Store Layouts?

Well, by the end of this article, you will be familiar with BEST Products store layouts.

And if this isn’t enough, the music – er, MUSAK – is catchy. So there’s that.

First Architecture, Now Store Layouts!

I swear these documentaries about BEST Products stores just pour out of the woodwork, don’t they?

Last week, we watched a 1979 documentary about incredible feats of experimental concept architecture employed by nine BEST Products stores during the 1970s. We saw buildings with walls that literally removed themselves from the storefront, peeling facades, tilting walls, and a living rainforest.

The architectural feats were a feast for the eyes, but what happened in the store was equally innovative.

Mine had a conveyor belt that came from the upper warehouse, from which products arrived to a happy customer.

Facades of amazingness weren’t the only thing BEST was known for. They also had two different types of store layouts, and thanks to Homeplate Media, those layouts, their pros and cons, and MUZAK make for a great college project video. About Best Products store layouts.

Doesn’t get more exciting than this, folks!

The “SOT”: Store of Tomorrow Vs. Regency

Best Products employed two different store layouts beginning in 1985: “The Store of Tomorrow” (or SOT) and Regency. Each had their advantages and disadvantages. Every store adopted a certain layout.

Admit it, you came to look at blueprints! It is my contribution to “splashy visuals” that draws people in!

In 1990, Youngstown (Ohio) State University college student Ron Flaviano (of the aforementioned Homeplate Media) and fellow classmates made a video explaining each layout, their advantages, and their disadvantages.

Comparisons were drawn for each layout by examining two stores utilizing each layout – one in Parma, Ohio, the other in Niles, Ohio.

Math!

Complete with Muzak and the “spontaneous” phone call method perfected on House Hunters (look it up), this video is a total treat.

Would you like to watch it…on one of these TVs?

Of course you do!

Well, you can watch it, but not on these TVs.

BEST Products – Catalog Showroom Comparison

Upload via Homeplate Media (check out this channel!)

And now that you’ve seen both unusual architecture AND creative store layouts, I’ll back off of BEST for a while.

Unless I find something else, because you know how well I do at “backing off a topic.”

Hey, one can never have enough Chicago, David Foster, and Kenny Loggins articles!