Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial

Art Direction in the Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial

I feel like we have revisited this famous Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial so often on the site that I could do a podcast on it. Why can’t I stop talking about it? It is one of the more memorable commercials from my youth for a few reasons. I loved pizza. The people in the ad kind of talked like people I knew. And it featured this amazing product that was sweeping the nation, string cheese.

Last night I was rewatching it yet again (maybe for a podcast) and I started noticing a few things that I wanted to share about the commercial’s art direction.

First the look of this pizza parlor. Pretty generic at first glance save for the neon sign, but some very interesting signage can be seen in almost every shot. Here you see a sign for “No Screaming.” This would have been a good sign to hang in our local pizzeria. We could get pretty obnoxious, especially if they had video games. We were constantly getting chastised by the people running the place. Also notice that guy in the corner. He appears in multiple shots and is completely unnecessary.

You can also see a little bit of pizza in this shot. To me, it does not look like very good pizza. At least not the type I grew up with. These kids are better off just ordering some cheese.

More details and more signage! Fred and Jimmy, the guys behind the counter, both have aprons with their names on them. Did they make those especially for this commercial? Did they name the characters after the aprons they had laying around? As for the signs, these are real gems. They are both sassy and believable for a pizza parlor. The one on the left says, “Be patient, meatball!” The one on the right offers “Week-Old Pizza Half Price.” Both are just throwaway gags in the background and are easy to miss. But as I continue to watch this commercial over the years, they have become my favorite part.

The final thing I want to comment on is this shot with the box of string cheese and Jimmy. I like they way they lay it out all lined up, but look to the right at Jimmy. It is a weird face right? Well, what makes it better is that he holds that pose for the entire shot. For that whole last shot that is how he looks for some reason. It is weird and short, but once you notice it, you will not be able to not see it.

I hope this short post gives you a greater appreciation for the Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial. Much like the cheese it advertises, you can continue to pull it apart and get more joy out of it. Now let’s watch it together in its entirety.

Watch the Famous Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial

Retroist Breakout Podcast

Retroist Breakout Podcast

Welcome to the Retroist Breakout Podcast. On today’s show I talk all about the video game masterpiece, Breakout. I start the show talking about how I bonded with my eldest sister over Breakout and how I do not resent that she is better at Breakout than me. Not at all. Then I move onto the game itself. I discuss the people and company that made the game, the history of PONG, the Wizard of Woz, Puppy PONG and much more. Breakout is an arcade and home video game classic, I hope I can persuade you to check it out or revisit it. You will not be disappointed.

Subscribe and Support


If you have a moment please stop by iTunes or wherever you might download the show and perhaps give the show a quick rating. It is very much appreciated.

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)
[RSS MP3] Add the Retroist Podcast feed (in MP3) to your RSS aggregator and have the show delivered automatically.

If you would like more retro fun, you can also follow me on the Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/retroist and on the Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/retroist.com.

Want to help Support the Retroist Podcast? Please drop by our Support page to find out how.

Listen and download the Retroist Breakout Podcast


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

Age of Resistance - The Dark Crystal

Teaser Released For Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance!

Why is there an Age of Resistance in the world of The Dark Crystal? We will find out the answer to that thanks to Netflix’s exclusive new series. In fact the company just announced The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance today with this teaser trailer.

[Via] Netflix

Age of Resistance - Skeksis construction
While the teaser indeed showed us some wonderful footage from the likes of Jim Henson. As well as some brief glimpses at the legendary Creature Shop at work. We however aren’t given a lot to go on in regards to the the Age of Resistance‘s story. Thanks to a press release from The Dark Crystal website – it turns out this will be a prequel to the classic 1982 film.

“A beloved classic from the 80s marks its return as Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment network, will bring The Jim Henson Company’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance exclusively to members around the world. The 10-episode fantasy adventure series is a prequel to the groundbreaking 1982 fan favorite The Dark Crystal, and takes place many years before the events of the film. The series will be shot in the U.K., and will star an ensemble of fantastical, state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and Brian Froud, the original feature’s conceptual designer.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.

Feature film director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) will executive produce the series and direct. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be a Netflix original series produced by The Jim Henson Company and executive produced by Letterier, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. Longtime Henson collaborator Rita Peruggi will serve as producer and Henson’s Blanca Lista will serve as a co-executive producer. Leading the writing are co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The 100).

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.”

Age of Resistance - Skeksis Illustration
So in addition to the awesome news that Leterrier will in fact be using practical visual effects alongside digital work. This prequel will most probably explain why the Skekis made it point to seek out all of the Gelflings. If you go by J. J. Llewellyn’s exceptional 1982 book The World of the Dark Crystal. A book I would also add is chock full of beautiful Brian Froud artwork. The Skekis in fact weren’t totally evil when the sundering first took place but soon however they changed. Taking the Gelflings as slaves and then of course destroying them almost entirely when the diminutive race devised the prophecy.

[Via] Antoneey

Of course I will be sure to pass along any new information that we get about this exciting new series. Not only that but if you would like more vintage fun concerning the Dark Crystal.

Read: After 31 Years It Was Time To Open Up That Pack Of Dark Crystal Cards!

Moreover to prepare yourself for The Dark Crystal: Age of Reckoning why not listen to episode 058 of the Retroist Podcast?


Retroist Dark Crystal Podcast

Chris Cornell

When I met Chris Cornell

When I was in college, I had various jobs. One of my better jobs was working security at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. I was not one of the people who patrolled the parking lot or asked you to stop smoking or drink up in the seats. For most of the time I was there, I worked backstage or at the rear entrance or backstage. It was an easy job, filled with interesting experiences and people. It was on one of my days working the rear gate that I encountered Chris Cornell.

I did not get to spend much time with him. Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil had come to a concert and were not on our list. Unfortunately for them, no one at the gate who was in charge recognized them. I was a noob, so I didn’t try to talk too much, the older guys did not like young people who gave too much lip. But I recognized Cornell and Thayil from their appearances on MTV and I mentioned that to my supervisor. That was enough to get my supervisor on his radio asking about these two long-haired fellas. When they were confirmed as on some list, we let them through.

Now here is what I most remember. Cornell thanked and shook hands with each person there. Even though we were mostly indifferent to him and perhaps even slightly dismissive. It was a classy move and it always left me with the impression that he was a nice guy.

I was sad to hear this morning that Chris Cornell had passed away. He was a very talented person and I am glad I have my memory of my brief encounter and a heck of a lot of music to remember him by.

Plus this amazing scene from the Cameron Crowe film Singles. Look at all the beautiful hair.

Watch Chris Cornell wordlessly steal this scene in Singles

The Wraith

The Wraith

“The Wraith” was released in 1986 and I just saw it for the very first time, this year. Yeah I know, it’s 2017. For years, Mrs. Monstermatt , her mom and brothers would quote the movie, as they saw it in the theater and it left a lasting impression. I would kind of scratch my head as I didn’t know the film. I now see the cheesy charm.

[Via] Obscure Trailers

SPOILERS for The Wraith Ahead!


“You lose the race, you lose your car!” Let that sink in. It’s a quote by Rughead (played by Clint Howard) in this delightful 80’s cheese fest of a film. The quote gets used quite a bit. Rughead is not the main character, but he’s a sight to see as he sports an Eraserhead like hairdo that is mesmerizing.
The Wraith - Clint Howard

The Wraith is Charlie Sheen, who comes back from the dead to right some wrongs done to him, by a car racing gang led by Packard (played by Nick Cassavettes) in a southwestern town.
The Wraith

Mr. Wraith ( Charlie Sheen) is a spirit, and has some crazy ghostly modified car and he hunts down the gang and races them to the death, one by one. He also has a suit that is a little bit ” Robocop, ” a little bit “Dune.” With each act of revenge , a piece of the suit glows and disappears.
The Wraith - Charlie Sheen

There’s characters to like, for their chatter or goofiness. None are very complex. Gutter and Skank keep drinking motor cleaners and fuel, etc., letting us know that “this has some kick” or “oh man, I’m tweaking!” Mrs. Monstermatt ‘s brother (who is a diesel mechanic) named every liquid they tried and verified if they did in fact “kick.” Most mechanics get various toxic things in their eyes, nose, mouth, ears at some point.
The Wraith

Randy Quaid is the town’s sherif and he asks the duo about a dozen different ways, if their brains are fried from chemicals. I kept giggling every time he said it, I mean once or twice, sure. But…
The Wraith - Randy Quaid

Sherilynn Fenn (Keri Johnson) is the object of desire between Packard and Jake Kesey/Wraith, and a buffer of sorts, to the teens at Big Kay’s Burgers, the local drive-in burger joint. She finds out that Jake is the spirit of her boyfriend and brother of the fry cook at Big Kay’s, who was killed by Packard and crew.

Once Jake/Wraith finishes his business with Packard’s gang, he gets ready to move on and take Keri with him. There’s some muttered lines about destiny.

Ok, that’s a racing lane’s take on the basic story. So, what did I think? It was very, very cheesy and charming in a way. I loved the soundtrack full of 80’s hair metal and synth pop. The Wraith sports the formula of bullying and a struggle to get the victims free, wether by their own growth or outside help. In this case, it was other worldly help. Add to that, a handful of car races for action, and it wraps up like something from Big Kay’s- full of stuff that’s bad for you, but tasty!

I’d give it two out of five oil cans.