The Barbie Liberation Organization

Oh, there’s something wrong with what my Stacy says. — Celeste

My Spidey Sense is tingling! Anybody call for a web slinger? — Malibu Stacy, “Lisa v. Malibu Stacy”

Thanks to Katie, who tipped us off to today’s reference: the Barbie Liberation Organization, whose members speak up for the glass-eyed figurines among us. In a coordinated act of culture jamming, the BLO went around switching the voice chips between Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls, striking a blow for women’s rights. Check it out:

Flash forward to Ancient Babylonia! While the work of the BLO briefly drew its share of media coverage, I suspect that the cost and time required to buy/steal the dolls, modify them, and then return them to the scene of the crime made a full-scale revolution impractical. For now.

And, remember, friends: As of this post, The Springfield Historical Society enters “lite mode”. Fewer posts, less fun. Resist the temptation to read or talk to loved ones, and maybe I’ll drop you a line someday from wherever I wind up in this crazy, old world.

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Marion Barry Cracks

Fernando, it’s M.B. — Mr. Burns

Ah, Marion Barry! Is it time for another shipment, already? — Fernando Vidal, “Raging Abe Simpson And His Grumbling Grandson In, ‘The Curse Of The Flying Hellfish'”

Forgive the second-rate pun, but “Marion Barry Uses Cocaine” was too cumbersome. F.V.’s attempted sale to M.B. takes aim at the widely-suspected drug use of the former Washington mayor, which of course was widely-confirmed by the time the above episode aired.

Punk’d! The above still is taken from camera footage of the then-53-year-old mayor in a rendezvous with a lady friend at a D.C. hotel. Of course, the entire meeting was a setup (the entire surveillance video, including the FBI swarm, can be seen here), and Barry was soon in hot water — for a city as troubled by drug use and related crime as Washington, having your fearless leader caught smoking crack is at the very least a hilarious twist. The mayor-for-life’s career was in serious jeopardy.

Well, not really. Barry was largely acquitted of his alleged crimes, serving a paltry six months in prison for an earlier drug charge. And then — get this — HE WAS RE-ELECTED MAYOR. And this was after he won a city council seat, running on the truly singular campaign slogan, “He may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for D.C.”

Today, as his website* affirms, he retains a seat on the city council. I guess the point of this story is that your own political prospects may not be as dismal as you think.

* Note the “scrubbing” of certain time periods in his biography.

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ed McMahon Whacked Out On Wowee Sauce

Everyone’s always kissing your ass. — Sideshow Mel, “I Love Lisa”

Though Publishers Clearing House administrator and Carson sidekick Ed McMahon’s love for alcohol was no great secret in the showbiz circuit, it didn’t rear its head so forcefully as in this timeless clip:

That classic Carson-McMahon rhythm is certainly well-lubricated here. Of course, the sweetest plum is the raunchy entendre these two knuckleheads pull off at 1:19 in the above clip. Through clever writing and general bad attitude, The Simpsons certainly managed to tuck in its fair share of raunchy quips years later, but let us pay homage where it is due.

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Streak

My Best Of Ray Stevens, featuring ‘The Streak’ album! So it was the dog that buried all our stuff. — Homer

Yes … the dog. — Marge, “Two Dozen And One Greyhounds”

Speaking of novelty records, celebrate your Friday with this very obnoxious song:

Meet Ray Stevens. Per his website:

Ray Stevens just thinks funny. His humor is keenly observant and rich in nuance.

Exactly. Much like our friend Johnny Calhoun, Stevens’ career has lately tended toward bold right-wing political statements, expressed through the joy of song.

Here’s his most recent disc, which contains such tracks as “My Uncle Sam”, “God Save Arizona”, and, in a cut that I presume is as keen and nuanced as they come, “Obama Budget Plan”. Believe it or not, I didn’t Photoshop this:

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Demento

Oh … I’m only ten, and I already got two mortal enemies. — Bart, “Sideshow Bob Roberts”

At least as threatening as Kelsey Grammer, Barret Eugene Hansen, also known as Dr. Demento, began haunting the radio airwaves in the 1970s, where he brought his mixture of comedy, obscure recordings, and general dementia to the Los Angeles-area FM band. Kind of like this:

(That was in fact his voice in “Sideshow Bob Roberts”, by the way.)

In addition to his wacky DJ duties (the “Funny Five” being his countdown of the day’s hottest novelty tracks), Demento also happened on some pretty interesting interviewees in his day, not the least of which was a certain composer:

You can find a run-down of his broadcasts here. Note that he managed to bring on Bette Midler in ’76. The parallels are just impossible to resist.

Though Demento left the radio airwaves a couple of years back, the streaming version of his show can be accessed online here. Stay demented, friends.

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Norm Cash And The ‘Piano Leg’

Hey, I got my magic bat off a piano! — Carl

My sister let me use her wooden leg! — Charlie, “Homer At The Bat”

Carl’s cudgel marks a fleeting reference to an incident that occurred in 1973, during the second of Nolan Ryan‘s seven career no-hitters. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, zero hits, and Norm Cash of the Detroit Tigers fails to appreciate the seriousness of the situation:

… the free-spirited Cash decided to walk to the plate without a bat, instead carrying what appeared to be a strangely-shaped piece of wood. Legendary Tigers play-by-play man Ernie Harwell described the item as a piano leg, but it was actually a table leg, taken from a piece of furniture in the Tigers’ clubhouse.

The umpire forced Cash to return to the plate with a regulation bat; he then popped up to end it.

Buncha pranksters these ballplayers are. And it gives us all an excuse to watch this timeless classic once again:

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Welcome, neighbors. Since the police can’t seem to get off their duff-a-rooneys to do something about this burglar-ino, I think it’s time to start our own neighborhood watch … a-rooney! — Flanders, “Homer The Vigilante”

Today’s post may well prove controversial enough to delegitimize all that we’ve worked for, but here goes nothing, courtesy of dear, loyal SHS reader, I’mSomeOneElse!, who provides this relevant excerpt from On The Road:

… one night we suddenly went mad together again; we went to see Slim Gaillard in a little Frisco nightclub. Slim Gaillard is a tall, thin Negro with big sad eyes who’s always saying ‘Right-orooni’ and ‘How ’bout a little bourbon-arooni.’ … Then he slowly gets up and takes the mike and says, very slowly, ‘Great-orooni … fine-ovauti … hello-orooni … bourbon-orooni … all-orooni … how are the boys in the front row making out with their girls-orooni … orooni … vauti … oroonirooni …’ He keeps this up for fifteen minutes …

Slim Gaillard! A relatively obscure jazz musician, and quite the sousaphone player. Actually, it appears he played just about any instrument you could throw at him:

Look at those fucking hands! He could play while palming a volleyball.

But, more relevant to today’s discussion are Gaillard’s vocal eccentricities. In addition to his musical prowess, the man was proficient in many-a-language, including one of his own construction: Vout. And it regularly factored into his stage show …

Now, I’m not guaranteeing that Flanders’ vocal acrobatics derive from the Vout dialect (note the suspicious absence of the “diddly” suffix), but there are serious similarities here that merit consideration. And I, for one, will not allow this issue to rest until I go to work in a few minutes.

Posted in articles | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments