August 28th, 2015 by Calvero

In the past I have shared Sherlock Holmes fan vids, and a couple of Doctor Who. This time it’s Robin Williams.

 

http://calvero.tumblr.com/post/121406266888/tooru-book-i-made-a-new-fanvideo-i-used-the

The above video was created by tumblr user tooru-book, and it’s clips from various television and movies that Robin played in: Mork and Mindy, Seize the Day, Moscow on the Hudson, Flubber, Aladdin, Toys, The World According to Garp, and others.  The song is Florrie’s “Too Young to Remember”

I like watching this one when I want to see something of his, but I know that if I start watching Mork and Mindy, or a movie, it’ll end up being more than just a few minutes, lol

 

Posted in Mork and Mindy, movies, Nostalgia, Robin Williams, television Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

February 9th, 2015 by Calvero

It’s the greatest thing in the world!

Okay, maybe not, but it’s my first vlog. I did something a little different than most. I just shot some of my books (yes, it’s just a part of my book collection), along with some of my DVD/Blu ray box sets, and a Smothers Brothers record album.

What’s shown ranges from childhood (Snoopy!) to recent loves (Warehouse 13! The Fault in Our Stars!), and some are childhood loves that I recently acquired (Dick Van Dyke Show! Mork and Mindy! Doctor Who!)

I also used this video to experiment with a few things.  Some of my goals that I met are:

  • muting the sound of the video
  • having music not start at the beginning, but a few seconds in
  • just basic editing of the video clips and putting them together in the right order
  • just making the thing and uploading it and not letting fear from keeping me from doing so

Those may seem like small things, but it’s all a learning curve.  And a good healthy dose of confidence.

What I liked about it:

  • the accidental recording that I ended up using at the beginning.  When I loaded all the bits into the editor, I saw that and thought “I could use that!”
  • that I did the thing! YAY!

It’s not the greatest thing ever, but I’m glad I did it, and looking forward to all the things I will learn from it :).

The future…

So what have I got for the future?  Taking on the Doctor Who Tag started by YouTuber Luke Spillane. That was one of the things that got me going on finally making a vlog.  And I also plan on talking about Sherlock Holmes, having been born with a cleft lip and palate and all that it entails, and whatever else I come up with.

Oh, and I have another channel as well.  A gaming channel where I have begun to play Assassin’s Creed (the first one). I love the series and thought why not start off with the first one?

Posted in books, Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Doctor Who, John Green, NerdFighters, Nostalgia, Peanuts, Personal, Sherlock Holmes, Smothers Brothers, Vlog, Warehouse 13, YouTube Tagged with: , , , ,

September 14th, 2014 by Calvero

MorkandMindy1Today marks the anniversary of the first episode of Mork and Mindy, one of my all time favorite tv shows.

How it started

It was inspired by Garry Marshall’s (creator and executive producer for Happy Days) son who saw Star Wars and wanted to know about an alien being put on Happy Days. And Jerry Paris (who directed many episodes of Happy Days) remembered an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show (which he sometimes co-starred as Rob Petrie’s neighbor, Jerry Helper), “It May Look Like A Walnut” where Rob thinks a walnut eating alien has invaded Earth and taken over.

Out of that came the idea of Mork from the planet Ork.  There was a casting call and one of those to respond was Williams, who entered the room using a helium type voice and sat on his head.  Here is Marshall telling how he was introduced to Williams:

Marshall gave him the role right away because “he was the only alien who auditioned”.

In the Happy Days episode “My Favorite Orkan”, Richie sees a UFO, but none of his friends believe it. Here is part one (Mork shows up at 4:25):

Part 2:

The creation of Mork and Mindy

The episode was a hit, so when coming up with a new show idea, he remembered Mork, and an actress named Pam Dawber.

Set in (what was then) present day, Mork from the planet Ork is sent to Earth by Orson, his superior, as an observer of Earth customs and also so he would not be a bad influence on Ork. A sense of humor, as well as all other emotions, are banned on Ork “for the good of the race”. And Mork meets Mindy, who had just had a rough experience with her boyfriend who drove off in her jeep.

An unexpected hit

Very few people gave the show much of a chance before the first episode aired, but Mindy and Mork - with helmetafterwards, it was a ratings smash, with an average of 60 million people watching, nominated for 2 Emmys and winning Golden Globes and People Choice Awards. And it was ranked #3 for the 1978-79 season, sometimes weekly beating the show that gave it’s start, Happy Days. (Many years later Williams won Nickelodeon TV Land’s “Most ‘Out of This World’ Character” for both 2005 and 2006.)

The show would run into problems with censors. Robin would slip in things, sometimes in another language. The studio would have a censor who spoke 4 languages to the set to prevent him from causing trouble.  And the network messing with what made it a hit to begin with.

For many fans of my generation, the show plays a big part of our childhood.  And a week ago I finished re-watching the whole series (a few of us on tumblr were all doing the same thing, ending the series at the same time), and it was a wonderful stroll down memory lane. Oh, did I say stroll down memory lane? I mean a skipping-break-into-a-frantic-run-so-fast-I-get-dizzy down a 5 lane interstate highway (look out for that car!!).

While the show makes me feel like a kid again, I also am able to appreciate the characters more. Robin is still awe-inspiring, but Mindy is equally amazing.  From the get-go she stands up for herself when her boyfriend tries to attack her, then later dealing with her loving but over protective father, and being patient and understanding with Mork though she isn’t afraid of setting him straight. And later standing up to Mork’s boss, Orson.

It was great to see both Robin and Pam together earlier this year on The Crazy Ones:

My 7-year-old watching an episode of Mork & Mindy. Here, it's Dr. Morkenstein (anyone got a tissue for the ending?!?)

My 7-year-old watching an episode of Mork & Mindy. Here, it’s Dr. Morkenstein (anyone got a tissue for the ending?!?)

It’s also great to see younger generations watching and becoming fans.  One of the youngest is my 7 year old daughter who loves watching it with me.

Thanks to Robin (wherever you are!) and Pam (you’re awesome!) for making many people’s childhoods funnier.

Posted in classic comedy, Mork and Mindy, Nostalgia, television Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

September 3rd, 2014 by Calvero
Morks Mixed Emotions

Mindy consoles Mork who is stressed out about his uncontrollable emotions.

I am currently going through all of the Mork and Mindy episodes chronologically, currently in season 3. I had previously jumped around with my memory overloading on hilarious scenes that I haven’t seen in 3 decades.

So far my top favorite is “Mork’s Mixed Emotions”. It is a great episode to see how many different types of characters (in this case, emotions) Robin Williams goes in and out of and back in again at the speed of light.

It’s Mindy’s birthday and she is planning a special night out, just her and Mork. Meanwhile Mork had a nightmare and has trouble dealing with confusing emotions from it (Orkans are banned from having emotions) and, afraid of what they will do to him, he locks them up. Unsuccessfully.

It really is hard for me to watch this without laughing, and I have seen it several times in the last couple weeks. Really liked him using a Peter Lorre imitation for the voice of Fear. Very clever. Though there is a bit of a dark second in the restaurant scene… if you blink you’ll miss it but I got a little lump in my throat when I saw it.

Also I must no forget the amazing Pam Dawber who plays Mindy. Her actions and reactions to what Mork does andd says are always a treat.  The reaction to the disco guy in the record store always makes me giggle.

There are plenty of other great episodes to see that are hilarious. Pretty much all of season 1 is top stuff. I might just write a review of each episode for the whole series. At some point. There’s a total of 91 episodes (or 95 depending on how you count) so that would take some time to accomplish. But you never know ;).

Posted in classic comedy, Mork and Mindy, Nostalgia, television Tagged with: , , , , ,

August 18th, 2014 by Calvero

Last Monday, my daughter and I were sitting in the living room, she on her laptop and me reading or playing a game, I don’t remember which.  Then she says “Robin Williams died.” The news hit like a ton of bricks.  I was dazed, confused, and saddened.

Wait, Wait…What?

I hoped that it was a hoax (like Bill Cosby’s rumored death a few years ago).   So I immediately checked the internet.  The more I read, the sadder I got.

Shazbot.

Suicide. Due to severe depression. A nasty arch-nemesis.

Robin in his Orkian uniform.

Robin in his Orkian uniform.

My first memory of Robin was on “Mork and Mindy”. One of the earliest life memories I have, actually. (I’m just old enough that it seemed like Robin always was and always would be around.) I was 5 when the show started and I don’t remember exactly when I started watching it.  I do remember watching when it went into reruns.  I watched a number of sitcoms, both old and new, and if I missed those it wasn’t a real big deal.  I miss Mork & Mindy and it was “Oh no! I have to wait another 7 days (or) 23 1/2 hours until it’s on again! Heavy sigh!”

I’ve kind of viewed him as a distant, crazy, but lovable uncle.

I was a big fan of the show. While The Dick Van Dyke show is my favorite sitcom, Mork & Mindy is tied in second place with The Cosby Show as my second favorite. Back when I watched the reruns, I was visiting one of my happiest types of stores (BOOKS!) when I came across the novelization of the pilot episode of Mork and Mindy. I snatched it up and read it in just a couple days,  It was hilarious to read, and funnier to watch.

The show probably also helped me be more interested in how and why people behaved the way they do.  At the end of every episode, Mork would telepathically report back to his boss, Orson on the planet Ork about what he had learned about Earthlings that week.

A couple of my personal favorites are “Mork’s Greatest Hits” where Mork deals with the town bully:

And when Mork naively joins racists in “The Night They Raided Mind-ski’s”

Since that sad Monday, I have watched a lot of the show again.  Sad to say that I had not watched the show in several years, but when rewatching it, it made me feel like a kid again, remembering characters and catchphrases (“KO”, drinking with his finger, and Mearth! RIP Mr. Jonathan Winters! Also Tom Poston !).  And it surprised me how much I remembered as an episode would start rolling.

AladdinOther memories were watching Aladdin.  When I first met (face-to-face) my future ex-husband in the mid 90s, we went to (what was then) Disney-MGM Studios and then to a special showing of Aladdin. Years later when it was released onto DVD, it was on our wedding anniversary, which also was the anniversary of our first date from the previous year.  Had to buy it. It didn’t matter if we already had it on VHS.

Another memory was when I was playing Battlefield Vietnam on my computer.  You had the option of putting mp3s in the game, so whenever I turned on the in-game radio, it would play whatever I put in the game.  Somewhere along the line I had downloaded all the bits of Robin behind the mic from “Good Morning Vietnam”.  For some reason, there was no noise when playing it in-game.  I had turned up the volume rather loud and didn’t hear anything.  So I thought “Okay, not working” and continued to play the game.  Was in it a couple minutes when, all of a sudden I heard screaming through my earbuds “GGOOOOOOODDDD MOOOORRNNING VIETNAAAAAMMM!!!!“, and I almost fell out of my chair, both from shock and from laughing so hard.

The last thing I watched of his was when Pam Dawber guest star on “The Crazy Ones” just a few months ago. For some reason I had not gotten into watching the show but meant to, but when I happened to turn on CBS that night, and saw Pam and Robin in a scene, the kid in me just shouted for joy and I made my daughter watch it, and quickly explained the whole significance of them in a tv show together. Which was probably the reason why she told me about his passing.

Depression

A few years ago I was told by one doctor and two counselors that I showed signs of mild depression.  Of which I don’t dispute.  While I have never felt suicidal, I have had plenty of moments of feeling like “things don’t really matter. why bother even trying? It’s just a waste of time”.  I have done better recently. But I have felt for many years that loving to laugh which began with Mork and Mindy, the Peanuts comics, and the Dick Van Dyke Show when I was a little kid, to later becoming a fan of just about every classic comedian from Charlie Chaplin to the Smothers Brothers (especially Charlie and Tom & Dick), protected me from going to those type of deep black holes of despair that Robin had trouble escaping.

Robin Williams - then and most recent

My copy of the Mork and Mindy book published 1979 that I’ve had for about 30 years.  And the most recent issue of Time, a cover that I was hoping not to see for at least 20 years :'(

Hello, Mr. Williams.

Posted in classic comedy, television Tagged with: , , , , , ,

February 9th, 2011 by Calvero

The Reenactments
It is fun to see how people re-enact scenes from a Holmes production. Below are live and animated re-enacted scenes both from the Granada series and BBC’s Sherlock. I include the original scene and same scene, redone:

The Dancing Men

Sherlock Holmes – The Dancing Men 1/6

Skip to 2:53 in the video to watch Watson’s astonishment as Holmes makes an “absurdly simple” deduction about him.  Ends at 5:47. Or you can watch the whole episode if you wish (I recommend that! One of the best episodes of the series!)

Sherlock Holmes The Dancing Men (Jeremy Brett) Cartoon

An adorable cartoon version, using the audio from the above episode.  Animation has a nice folkart quality to it.  I posted in the comments section that it reminded me of the 1990s cartoon, Dr. Katz (without the shaking).  And I always laugh at Watson’s confused face.

The Resident Patient

The Resident Patient part 6

You only need to skip to :19 to get to the scene.  If you watch from the beginning, you’d be spoiled somewhat since this segment is near the end and Watson narrates what happened to the villains after the mystery had been solved.  The scene in the sitting room is not in the original story, but incredibly charming and, as far as character goes, it’s very canonical. The song Holmes is playing on his violin is Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, 3rd movement.

The Resident Patient

Take one YouTuber (in this case, dalek42), have him play both Watson and Holmes well, and you have a great little tribute to the show!  While the Watson angle is a bit dark, his timing is very good.  I love how his Holmes rolls the “r” in “What’s wrong?”.  And the smily face on the bedroom door!  Just thinking of Holmes having a smily face on his door is hilarious…..

The Great Game

….Which brings me to Sherlock shooting a smiley face into his wall.  This is from BBC’s Sherlock, the third episode “The Great Game”.  The argument that Sherlock and John have here (in the show, they call each other by there first name rather than their last) is from the canon: Holmes not liking what Watson had published about their first case is from the second story, “Sign of Four”, and the solar system is from the very first story, “A Study in Scarlet”. Along with Holmes shooting into the wall, from The Musgrave Ritual, though in the story he shoots nota smiley face, but the letters V R, standing for Victoria Regina (another name for Queen Victoria).

Although I was not able to find the whole scene in one video, I found three short ones that has almost the whole thing (minus a second or two):

Sherlock “Bored” Scene Recreation

These guys usually do videos based on Doctor Who (both original stories and also hilarious impersonations), but after a number of requests, they redid the above scene (minus the head-in-the-fridge bit):

For those curious, below is the original solar system argument:

My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.

“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”

“To forget it!”

“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

“But the Solar System!” I protested.

“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”

Posted in Sherlock Holmes Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

March 24th, 2010 by Calvero

Wouldn’t you know it? The next day after my post about my favorite Holmes fanvids, I found another really good one…

Holmes & Watson- Fix You

I got a little choked up when I watched the Read My Mind fanvid, but this one really got me choked up. The below one is done to ColdPlay’s “Fix You”, also featuring clips from the Granada series. As with Read My Mind, the editing done in time with the song is top notch.

Sherlock Holmes – Safety Dance

This one is a bit repetitive, but fun. Men Without Hats classic 80s song, “Safety Dance”. More Granada clips (are you getting the impression that the Granada series was/is that popular among fans? :D)

Sherlock can do anything

One that made me laugh was this one done to Elvis Presley’s “Blue Sueade Shoes”. And no need to adjust your computer, it is double speed.

I love how Holmes throws paper around the room. Poor Mrs. Hudson!

These (especially “Read My Mind” and “Fix You”) have got me thinking about putting together a fan video of my own. I already have a couple songs in my head, and have been working out what parts could go where. Maybe one day I’ll finally make it 🙂

Posted in Sherlock Holmes Tagged with: , , , , ,

November 2nd, 2009 by Calvero

I have to thank my 8th grade English teacher for introducing me to the great detective and and his trusty companion.

Basil Rathbone (left) and Nigel Bruce play the crime fighting duo

Basil Rathbone (left) and Nigel Bruce play the crime fighting duo

We were reading Hound of the Baskervilles (considered by many fans to be the best of the Holmes stories) and watched the 1939 film version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce  it in class.  We had an assignment of pretending to be a news reporter covering the murder. I’ve never cared too much for mysteries. It was usually someone gets killed (kind of a downer). Detective investigates and usually solves case. Killer is usually hateful/jealous/mean streaked.  Then justice is done. But the characters of Holmes and Watson really got my curiosity.  Holmes was stand-offish and not social. He could tell you where you came from and what you do for a living within the first second of meeting you.  But he was not a romantic, but rather preferred facts when dealing with people… or rather, people’s cases.  Along with his cocaine addictions, violin playing, and pipe smoking. Watson was loyal.  Ready to help his friend when needed. And wrote about the cases that he and Holmes took on.  Handy with a revolver.  If Holmes asked him to go off and do something, Watson went without question. I happened to mention about the story to my mom, telling her that I thought it was really interesting and not hard to follow the decades old story.  So when I graduated the grade, my parents gave me a book that had several stories in it (most of the Holmes stories were short stories), including Hound.  The book had the original illustrations by Sidney Paget, which were originally with the stories when they were originally published.  Considered to have cemented the “look” of Holmes to the public. I read those stories. Inhaled them is a better way of putting it.  The stories were also out of the ordinary.  Some were murders, though the cause of death no always easy: an animal in self defense or the victim died out of terror or a guilty conscious.  Or perhaps faked their own death.  Or something was stolen.  In addition to that,  I watched more of the Rathbone/Bruce movies on the local tv channel. I believe it was every Sunday afternoon.  Rathbone was my Holmes. Until…

Jeremy Brett as Holmes (left) , Rosalie Williams as Mrs. Hudson (center) and David Burke as Watson standing in front of the infamous 221B residence

Jeremy Brett as Holmes (left) , Rosalie Williams as Mrs. Hudson (center) and David Burke as Watson standing in front of the infamous 221B residence

I saw Jeremy Brett and David Burke. Oh. My. Gosh!!! (that’s right, I said gosh. Deal with it! 😉 ) The performances of those two men really shot the characters out of a canon and onto the small screen.  Brett’s portrayal was spot on. He set a very high standard of how someone should play Holmes. And Burke’s Watson as well as Edward Hardwicke’s Watson was much more faithful to the Watson that Conan Doyle wrote about.  And the rest of the cast: Rosalie Williams who played their landlady Mrs. Hudson, Colin Jeavons as Inspector Lestrade, and a bunch of others who appeared looking like what I had pictured in my head when I first read the stories. And shooting it out of a canon can be taken another way… it was almost 100% Canon (canon – meaning the original stories).  The stories were as close to word-for-word as one could fit into less than a 60 minute program.  Costumes were beautiful. Sets were marvelous.  The Baker Street residence was not too ornate.  Everything was so… well…. perfect! (Except for the last few episodes. Production got lazy, and Brett’s health got worse and passed away in September 1995 :'( ). Even when I watch them now, they do not look like they are 25 years old.  I

Brett again as Holmes, and Edward Hardwicke picking up the role of Watson

Brett again as Holmes, and Edward Hardwicke picking up the role of Watson

am picky when it comes to period films and if there is too much 1980s in something that is supposed to be 1880s, then I’m not happy.  But this was, as I already said, perfect. A few years later I became a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin.  And to my delight, one of Chaplin’s early acting childhood gigs was that of Billy the Pageboy in the Sherlock Holmes play written by William Gillette.  There were two men who played Holmes for the play, Gillette and H A Saintsbury, and Chaplin worked with both of them, commenting in “My Autobiography” that he thought Saintsbury was the better Holmes.  Many years later when he was making Limelight, he brought on Nigel Bruce to play Mr Postant, largely due to his Watson role.  Which is another reason why I have kept the name Calvero for so many years… it connects some of my favorites together :). And speaking of the Holmes/Chaplin crossover, there is the “Sherlock Holmes” movie to be released later this year starring Robert Downey, Jr. who playrf Charlie in the 1992 film “Chaplin”.  Loved him in that!  And now he’s playing Holmes.  While I can’t think of anyone better to play Chaplin than him, it will be real tough to even equal Brett’s Holmes.  But he can do a very good British accent (he did a couple different ones in Chaplin).  Jude Law has a very very good look for Watson (He also had a small part in the Granada series, “The Disappearance of Lady Carfax”). The trailer looks good: I’ll just have to put Brett’s image to the side when I go to see the new movie.

Posted in Sherlock Holmes, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 14th, 2009 by Calvero

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June 4th, 2009 by Calvero

First, thanks to those who told me how much they liked my review. 🙂

I have thought of other things that I wanted to add to it:

Random thought: Was anyone else surprised that Winona Ryder was in it?  And that she played Spock’s mom? Assuming that you did not know who was in the movie prior to seeing it, that is ;). That surprised me when I was watching the credits and thought “She was in this?”

More on Roman history: And while watching the TOS episode “Amok Time” (the one where Spock returns to Vulcan and first does the Vulcan salute),  I suddenly remembered the relationship of Vulcan (the Roman god of fire) and Spock’s home planet (D’oh!). It’s because the planet is volcanic (ah, the wonders of Roman mythology on the English language!), and therefore hot and the air is thin. And then I remember the scenes in the movie seeing the outside shots of Vulcan. I knew there had to be something connecting the two!  My mind just went blank when writing my earlier review.

And to talk about something not directly related to the movie, here’s a connection with TNG:  Back in 1976, BBC aired a 12 part television series called “I, Claudius” about the goings-on of the Julio-Claudian household from Claudius’ point of view (like a soap opera, but with more literal knife stabbing and poisoning and it’s pretty close to being historically accurate). Claudius was one of the family members and would later become emperor.  It had a big cast, among them Patrick Stewart who play Sejanus, the captain of the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s elite bodyguards) under Emperor Tiberius, and who is believed to have tried to become emperor by killing off people.

Eleven years later Stewart would become Captian Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) , a much more noble man.

I hope to write a review of that BBC series. I’ve seen it a few times and love it.

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