I am really, really ready for this weekend. After the week I’ve had, I’m ready to sit down and pop open a refreshing beer from the 1982 World’s Fair.
I was 11-years-old when my family and I packed ourselves into a Chevy van and drove out to Knoxville, Tennessee to attend the 1982 World’s Fair. We bought a lot of souvenirs while we were there (as you can see), and I have picked up several more over the past couple of years, thanks in part to a recent road trip to that part of the country.
That’s me on the left, with the sweet cut offs, the World’s Fair hat, the World’s Fair t-shirt, and the World’s Fair puppet. Apparently everybody in my family had to sell their shoes to afford all those keepsakes. That’s the only reason I can figure why none of us are wearing any.
A few years ago my Dad was cleaning out his closet, ran across that six-pack of World’s Fair Beer, and gave it to me. It’s officially 30 years old this summer, but online wine, I do not think cheap beer gets better with age.
I have posted some great Photos of the Day here on the site, but today’s find by The Damn Mushroom is mind blowingly wonderful. Instead of a setup photo of kids and adults playing Atari and hanging around the living room, Mushy manages to find a photo of late 70s/early 80s man at the height of his power, reigning over his court sometime after 1980.
Adorned in his finest robe, with his Mrs. Roper-esque old lady by his side. This man among men sits in opulent splendor, whiling away his days eating brownies (or coffee cake) and drinking and smoking. Concern is not for him. He only needs to worry about two things, is his new beard coming in even and how can he achieve a higher score in Asteroids on his Atari 2600 (looks like a 4 switch Woody, which is why I guess post 1980)?
So much great stuff in this pic to spot and celebrate(and you should check out the larger version on Flickr). The furniture, the double door, the stubby lamp on the TV table, the handle of the plastic comb! Who is using a comb in this photo? The sleeping cat??
What is your favorite thing about this photo?
My family is considering getting a dog. I have a short checklist for the perfect dog: friendly to kids, doesn’t bark much, and is, of course, a super party animal.
I don’t watch a lot of CBS, mainly because I don’t think shows about cops solving the murders of realistically rendered prop corpses is entertaining. As such, whenever I say to myself, “I wonder what ever happened to that one star from the late ‘80s or early ‘90s,” I look them up on IMDB and as it turns out, they’ve been starring on a CBS crime show for five years, a crime show that is one of the top 10 most watched television programs. On that note, here’s Mark Harmon of Summer School and NCIS, early in his career, in an ad for beer in which he’s hanging around with some cows, which are vital to the brewing process.
Your first thought when you see “Ray J Johnson” is probably Krusty the Klown from the “Gabbo!” episode of The Simpsons talking about the the worst episodes they’d ever done was the one with Ray J. Johnson. “You can call me Ray, and you can call me J,” Krusty recites in a sarcastic sing-songy voice. “That was funny for about two seconds.”
Homer doing the bit in Spanish is hypnotic.
But who exactly was Ray J. Johnson? It was a character, almost vaudevillian in its simplicity and corniness, portrayed by comedian Bill Saluga. The shtick was pretty simple. Ray J. Johnson hated to be called “Mr. Johnson” and would go on a comical rant whenever that would happen (and it would happen often, because that was the deal).
It went something like this: “Now you can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Johnny, or you call me Ray J, or RJ, or RJJ, or RJJ Jr., but you don’t hasta call me Mr. Johnson!”
Saluga as Ray J. Johnson – kind of a less clever take on the living alter ego concept perpetuated by Paul Reubens/Pee-Wee Herman and Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton – appeared on a bunch of sitcoms and talk shows, but was most famously in a series of ads for Natural Light Beer.
Enjoy this commercial featuring Ray J Johnson