Driscoll and Egbert - Title

Blockbuster Video Training Video #2: Driscoll and Egbert

From the now-defunct video store chain that brought you Buster Sales, comes an obviously intentional parody of two now-deceased film critics.  The store? Blockbuster Video. The film critics? Siskel and Ebert…well, no. Not them. They wouldn’t train Blockbuster new hires. Besides, too costly. Filling in to do something less dignifying, Driscoll and Egbert!

Driscoll and Egbert: Yes You Read That Correctly!

Betcha thought I said Siskel and Ebert, didn’t you?

Nope. I did not.

In 1989, one year before “Blockbuster University” strove to create “Professional Opportunists” through Buster Sales’ training methods, Blockbuster Video created three learning opportunities through the use of fake movie clips and their own versions of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

I don’t think Siskel and Ebert ever had this life problem…

Those guys were Jerry Driscoll (of the “Chicago Tribulation”) and Rodney Egbert (of the “Chicago Fun-Times”), and those movies? Just as ridiculous as you’re assuming they are.

Prepare to constantly mutter “Oh dear God.”

About those movies…

Beaverton Hills Cop IV

Circa 1989 Eddie Murphy should have lawyered over this. An obvious take on the Beverly Hills Cop movies (the first two were released in 1984 and 1987), “Eddie Mumford” is out to stop an illegal cartel from smuggling…Colombian Coffee into North Dakota.

Oh Good lord.

When one of the baddies gets away, Not Axel Foley chases him to a Blockbuster Video.

SERIOUSLY?!

The baddie, played by “Leo Ross,” is sneaking around the store, aided in his attempt to go incognito by employee Roxanne, who helps him pick out Marlon Brando movies.

Yes, this is terrible! It is everything you imagine, yet try to block out!

There’s also this…thing!

…and he’s packing heat!

We’re just getting started! Next up on Driscoll and Egbert

Passing Ships

Foreign and Black and White. A romance between two star-crossed lovers, searching for each other only to emigrate to the United States (on the same plane!), and find themselves in a Blockbuster Video.

All the main character wants is his happy ending tonight, and the Blockbuster Associate that helps him tries to fill the void with recommendations of movies and popcorn.

Will the lovers meet? Will the protagonist find his happy ending? Does good customer service exist in this alleged teaching point?

The end is in sight, tortured Blockbuster new hires!

How about a tale of forbidden (because of age difference) romance, youth, recommendations of Humphrey Bogart movies to said youth, and the policy on renting movies to children?

Blockbuster has this training point too!

Casablanca Summer

In this “coming of age” “film,” Josh Sanders has been renting recommendations of classic films by Blockbuster employee, Beth. Josh has the hots for Beth, and mostly because she has never steered him in the wrong direction movie-wise.

Josh’s friend, Alfred, happens to be at the video store on that particular day. He aspires to rent a “17 Plus” movie by wearing his Jason Voorhees mask to pass as his brother.Will it work? What about Josh and Beth? Will their romance bloom? Does this sound like an educational short on stranger danger?

What will Driscoll and Egbert think of these “training points”?

You’re just going to have to watch the videos, aren’t you?

Yes, you are!

Driscoll and Egbert

Thanks to DJameyson (the same person responsible for the “Buster Sales” training video), this feat of training point perfection is available for your viewing pleasure. At around fifteen minutes long, it is not as painful a watch as training videos go. It is good for a laugh (hey, we’re not new hires, we don’t need to take it seriously!), and accomplishes its point…to teach employees good customer service skills. Sure, the lessons are buried in cheese (not the flavored popcorn), but as I said, we don’t have to take it seriously. And the guys playing the Siskel and Ebert roles are actually having fun with their roles – they’re quite good without taking themselves too seriously.

See for yourself! Click on the first video to get started with your Blockbuster training!

Uploads via DJameyson

Oh yeah, for the uninformed, the balcony is still upstairs.

I can’t take credit for that cheesy line!

No, seriously, I didn’t make it up!

Bill & Ted - Movie Poster

Check Out Bill & Ted’s Original Script Pages!

Friends, surely we can agree that 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a masterpiece. Or at the very least we can meet in the middle and admit that both Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves really delivered stand out characters. Thanks of course to the script by both Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. Which is why it was such a joy the other day when Solomon totally revealed a few pages of their handwritten script for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure!

Real quick, in case you didn’t know. Ed Solomon has written for a lot of great films as well as TV shows. Just a few of the projects he has written for include It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Men in Black, Mom and Dad Save the World as well as the Now You See Me series.
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon

Chris Matheson most certainly comes from a Family with a legacy for writing. As he is the Son of the late and great Richard Matheson and brother to Richard Christian Matheson. His eldest brother like his Father, has written numerous horror stories as well as working in TV and film. Now Chris not only co-wrote Bill & Ted’s Exellent Adventure but the 1991 sequel and even some episodes of the animated series. In addition to writing the script for 1995’s The Goofy Movie!

[Via] Sheldon Williamson

I need to give a huge thank you to io9 for the heads up on the original script pages for Bill & Ted that Solomon shared. On the writer’s Twitter account he offered five handwritten pages with commentary:
“I promised this to some people a while ago (sorry for the delay, had to get them down from storage again). These are very first pages from the original, hand-written draft of Bill & Ted, written in a coffee shop by Chris Matheson & me in what now seems like another life. 1/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 1

“Writing it was never anything other than a pure joy. It was hard, when in the mindset of these guys, not to feel the kind of ebullience and generosity of spirit that they embody. And we knew absolutely nothing about so-called “rules” of writing. 2/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 2

“We were guided by one thing: what made us laugh? I remember at one point looking across the table from each other and saying “Maybe someday somebody might even READ this script!” We had NO idea that they’d be so beautifully embodied by the great @alxwinter and Keanu Reeves. 3/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 3

“And of course, George Carlin, who we all so dearly miss. To me, the fans of this movie are like family. We never thought it would even get MADE, let alone find a home with people. 4/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 4

“Chris and I have often said to each other: if all we did in our career was put the phrase “Be Excellent To Each Other” out into the world, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Sometimes when work is tough, or things don’t land the way I’d hoped, I think about that and feel ok. 5/5″
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 5

Ed Solomon is of course correct. That is an absolutely exceptional comment to have put out in the world. One to remember as well, friends.

You’ve had a chance to glance at the original script pages for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. So “Party On” with the mall sequence from the film!

[Via] Zachary Ruetz

Does Jason Scheff Remember To Be “Young”?

You know, because when you’re one of the lead singers of a band whose average age (in the mid-1980s) was at least 40, you may forget how “young” you really are. I wonder if Jason Scheff ever actually had that problem…

Fangirl Love And College Acceptance

I write about Chicago alot.

I’m aware of my obvious fangirl love, and it is something I will never deny.

That said…

For me, college feels like a lifetime ago, and in reality, it was actually 16 years ago when I received my acceptance letter. The nail-biting and worrying from the time the application goes into the mail to the time the determination letter arrives is the pits, but it is worth it when the hard work pays off.

My high school gradation photo – class of 2001.

A few days after I graduated from college (in December 2005), I was job hunting, when a movie came on HBO that sounded interesting enough to take me away from my job-hunting for a little while. Ironically, it was about the end of high school life struggle of getting into the college of your choice. I appreciated the movie then, but liked it even more a few years later while watching Fox Movie Channel. That movie was How I Got Into College, and is the 100%* relatable story of what we do, and how we stress out, while trying to get into the college we want to attend.

*It is a bit overdramatic.

Me graduating from the college I wanted to attend. College graduation photo from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (now Stockton University), class of 2005.

The Theme Song

While I was watching the movie, I took notice of a song that played during the Obligatory Montage Scene that the best 1980s movies are, by law**, required to have.

**Absolute truth.

I also took notice of the song used during said Obligatory Montage Scene, which sounded like someone very familiar, singing a song about staying young. Of course, I wasn’t really well-versed with Chicago vocalists at the time, so it was almost mind-blowing that Peter Cetera would be involved with a song about youth. I mean, he was clearly 40-something in 1989, right?

The truth cracks me up to this day. Silly girl, that’s not Peter Cetera singing about youth, that’s an incredible sound-alike!

“But He Sounds JUST LIKE HIM!”

I forever got Peter Cetera and Jason Scheff’s voices mixed up years ago. As it turns out, that isn’t difficult. Turns out that this “misstep” can be forgiven. For instance, I’ll forgive you for your mistake. It is ok, you are allowed to make that mistake. You are human.

But all that aside, Jason Scheff was the youngest member of a group who had not only been around since the late 1960s, but took over as one of their lead vocalists at the age of 23. That’s a big job – a group that had been together for almost 20 years, you’re barely older than that, and you’ve got an impressive catalog of songs to sing?

He handled himself well. For 31 years.

As a solo artist, Jason Scheff provided the vocals to the Obligatory Montage Scene from How I Got Into College, and while I can’t find that montage on You Tube (probably because the movie is from 20th Century Fox, and I don’t believe their stuff can be posted on You Tube), I can find you that song. And what looks like a music video to go with it.

Uploaded by Sai Guzman

And this is the full song, without any kind of music video attached.

Uploaded by Music 80s AOR

Movie Availability

As for How IGot into College, this movie is as difficult to track down as this song was for years!

I did find the DVD of this movie on Amazon, but it is expensive (as of this writing, the DVD is $26.85). Your best bet would be to track down a used copy. I ran into this problem in 2009 when I wanted to buy the DVD of it, and couldn’t even get it. I wound up recording (almost wrote “taping”!) the movie from Fox Movie Channel to a DVD that year. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the watch.

And as for Jason Scheff, he’s not “young” anymore, but he did continue to make a name for himself as the bassist and lead vocalist of Chicago until leaving the group in October 2016. But during his tenure, he made beautiful music, and even made “Street Player” sound like a halfway decent Chicago song. So he was obviously doing something right, even after he was trying to be “forever young.”

Yeah, I’ll stop.

Allison’s Note: I’ve had this song on my iPod for a few years (since about 2010), but didn’t know at the time who Jason Scheff was. It was actually several years before I really started listening to Chicago and made the connection. I was inspired to write this article after listening to this song the other day, and remember how hard the song (and movie!) were to come across at the time.

Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers Swing the Mood

Swing the Mood

Picture the scene: It’s Christmas Day in 1989 and, in my family home, I’m about to open my big present – a Hi-Fi! It’s a good one too, a Panasonic stereo with twin tape decks, multi-band radio and a record player at the top to play my parents aging collection of vinyl records. Happy days!

But wait, there is more. My mother hands me another present and it’s unmistakably a 12″ vinyl record under the wrapping paper. What could it be? Well, I’m pretty sure you’ve worked this part out by now – my first LP and my first 7″ single were both courtesy of Jive Bunny and his Mastermixers.

Jive Bunny

Most people can boast that their first records were classics. For albums I could have opened that paper to find Neneh Cherry’s Raw Like Sushi or Madonna’s Like a Prayer, for chart singles I could have received The Bangles’ Eternal Flame or even Kylie & Jason’s Especially For You duet would have done, but my parents opted for a rabbit mixing old tunes together.

http://youtu.be/B7bI1rKTJis

However, I shouldn’t complain. I actually really liked Jive Bunny back then and I remember playing the album over and over in my bedroom, on my new stereo, completely unaware that my future self would be holding my head in shame. I went on to purchase every 7″ single that Jive Bunny would release, including one that had a limited edition fold-out board game.

When I later sold my vinyl collection, I re-purchased that first album on CD and have subsequently turned into MP3’s for prosperity and future listening enjoyment. I owe much to Jive Bunny but I am glad that he stopped mixing!