PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

RFC 90: Ending The Year With A BANG!

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The show you see above this text (or here, if WordPress is being difficult) is our 90th episode over all, and our 34th this year! We decided to end 2009 with a bang. This show features new music from Eva Elution, WATT 4 and Drop Ded Phred, plus a new Kitty Killton short by Scott Elkins, fresh DEVO hat animation from Frank Panucci, and a plug for an upcoming series of Blues shows at the Plough Inn, in London….England.

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The Dean Martin Variety Show was one of the highest-rated shows on TV in the 1960s, but people forget how progressive and subversive the comedy on the show was. Martin introduced American audiences to Monty Python and Marty Feldman, and at a time when the racial divide in this country was rarely breached, the Dean Martin show regularly featured stand-up comedy from the then-young Bill Cosby and Flip Wilson. The show also addressed what could have been touchy social issues in the patented Rat Pack “who cares as long as nobody gets hurt” manner.

In the above clip, a recurring bit where Nipsy Russell and Dom DeLuise played the “NBC Barbers” who would be cutting the hair of that week’s guest, the guest is Peter Sellers, who discovered earlier in the day that he could reduce Martin to tears by doing a campy “gay” voice. Without any prior warning, he began the sketch, in which he was supposed to be speaking normally as himself, using that voice. You can see how it caught Russell and DeLuise off guard, but when Dino enters the sketch it really takes off.

The cool thing about The Dean Martin Show was that Martin never rehearsed. He’d walk in at the last minute and read his lines off the cue cards, often ad-libbing just to mess with his well-rehearsed co-stars. After the jump check out some more clips from The Dean Martin Show, featuring Goldie Hawn, Don Rickles, and more. This was the heyday of the show, not the last few years when the show was reduced to cranked-out celebrity “roasts.” These are examples why, in the history of comedy, Dean Martin matters.

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Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas, Gezur Krislinjden, Selamat Hari Natal, Sretan Bozic, Joyeux Noel, Mele Kalikimaka, Buone Feste Natalizie, Feliz Navidad, Kitten Natividad to all our loyal PopCult readers. As per our annual tradition, here’s Melanie Larch with her rendition of “Ave Maria,” from the first Radio Free Charleston Christmas show in 2006. Peace to you and yours.

Revisiting Buswater, and Christmas Greetings

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The PopCulteer
December 23, 2009

You’ve got us by the short and earlies this week, as we present a mid-week mini-PopCulteer due to the Christmas Holiday. You will get a wordless photo essay walk through the wonders that was the Buswater exhibit, which ran on The Boulevard earlier this month. At the end of today’s PopCulteer we re-present Melanie Larch with The Diablo Blues Band, performing “Please Come Home For Christmas” from the Radio Free Charleston Christmas show.

Enjoy, and best wishes to you and yours from The PopCulteer on this Christmas week.

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Monday Morning Art: Scape 27

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Hey, we’re kicking off the week with yet another of our “Scape” series. You know what that means…I didn’t have time to do anything good. There was a lot going on this weekend with the weather and holiday stuff going on. So…click to enlarge the image, and come back Wednesday for a special holiday-week PopCulteer.

Sunday Evening Video: Ghosts Of Christmas Past

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Above you see the 2007 Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston, “West Virginia Shirt,” with music from 69 Fingers and Mountain Laurel Ensemble. You also get treated to the Holiday episode of The Android Family and an animated Christmas tree courtesy of Brian Young and Yours Truly. You can read the original production notes, here.

We included 69 fingers on the show to promote their annual Christmas Bash at The Empty Glass with The Concept. You can catch this grand union of Ska and Punk again this year, as Christmas night sees both bands return to the Glass for a holiday tradition!

After the jump, check out last year’s Christmas Treat with Molly Means and the UUC Drum Circle, and the 2006 Holiday RFC with Melanie Larch and Clownhole. Check out these, and also this year’s Christmas show, and have a great holiday.

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Last Minute Gift Guide Plus Art Walking

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The PopCulteer
December 18, 2009

Last Minute Shopping Guide

There'[s less than a week to go before Christmas. It’s too late to find anything online without paying out the wazoo for shipping. You’d rather chew off your arm just below the elbow than try to fight the traffic at Southridge. And, you’d like to support local artisans and business. Here’s what you can do. The PopCulteer brings you a list of great last-minute gift ideas that are right up your alley.

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Twisted Holiday Greetings From Radio Free Charleston

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Right at the top of this text, you see the much anticipated 2009 Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston. Being a Christmas show, there was only one thing we could call this edition of RFC–“Terry Funk Shirt.” This extra-long episode is packed with music from Molly Means, Joseph Hale, Todd Burge, and Melanie Larch with The Diablo Blues Band. There’s also some classic animation from the British studio Halas and Batchelor, plus a news flash about a visit from Saint Sputnik. You may also want to take note that this is our first show that might require parental guidance.

If, instead of a lovely little video player up above you see some bracketed, disembodied code, follow this link to watch the show.

Host segments were shot at The Purple Moon, Charleston’s art and Atomic Age antique shop, located on Quarrier Street. Chuck and Connie Hamsher welcomed us to their old location where we shot our 2006 Christmas show and we returned to the new, more spacious Purple Moon, where once again, the aluminum Christmas tree forest is in full bloom.

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