January 19th, 2008

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R.I.P. Allan Melvin

Speaking of classic showbiz, you know him, you have to love him, the ubiquitous character and voice actor Allan Melvin has passed away. You know his face from recurring roles on All In The Family and The Dick Van Dyke Show, he was a regular platoon member on The Phil Silvers Show, and of course, he was Sam the Butcher bringing Alice the meat -- as the Beastie Boys put it -- on The Brady Bunch. Along the way he worked on Gomer Pyle, The Andy Griffith Show, Lost In Space, he was all over the tube. Previous to that he worked in radio as a special effect man and actor and did some stage appearances. Amazingly, after a career spanning five decades, he was only in one theatrical film.

Melvin was also a familiar voice in television animation and kiddie shows, heard as Drooper on the Banana Splits, and most famously, as Magilla Gorilla in countless Hanna-Barbera" shows. I always liked picking his voice out in cartoons, along with Daws Butler and the other H-B regulars.

I didn't even know Melvin was still alive, but, well, now he isn't. The TV Land channel should devote a night to the guy, they've showed many of the series he was a regular character on and can easily put an evening together in memory. Then again, TV Land went into deep suckitude years ago, do they still do tribute nights for the deceased? I stopped watching when they started showing 70's stuff and abandoned any old black and white show that wasn't licensed on a lunchbox.

Anyway, yeah, give it up for Allan Melvin. He was a-okay.

 
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Welcome to Eltingville on Adult Swim Video

Welcome to Eltingville, the pilot based on the Eltingville Club strips from Dork, can be seen on the Adult Swim Video site for the next few days. Here's the pilot, if you are interested.

The viewers have given the episode a rating of 4 out of 10, which is a whole lotta ouch. I looked at a few minutes of it and while it didn't make me feel overtly proud, it certainly didn't make me nauseous. I'd give it a 7. Your mileage may vary. Like, a 2 or something.

Yeesh. A goddamned 4 from the interweb. I feel like I just got gonged.

If I were producing it today I'd do a lot of things differently, design the characters better, punch up the script (if not go with another storyline), leave some of the heavy lifting on the backgrounds to someone more capable. And I'd know the show's content rating ahead of time, so I could make it more like the comic and not back away from more over the top material like I did. I'm sure I could bring it up to a 6, at the very least. And still get shitcanned, sure, but a 6, hell, that's over the 5 hump, that's an effort, that's got some oomph to it. Unlike a 4, which is deep enough in the dogshit to be barely distinguishable from a 3, or a 2. Or a 1. Do they give 0's?. No wonder that guy from The Venture Brothers never called back. Who the fuck wants a 4 around fucking your stuff up? A 4 will just drag your ass down to hell. A 4 ruins a 10, it cripples a 9, kills an 8. A 4 is just a bucket of toilet water in your chowder. Who needs a 4 writing for you? Why not hire an armless editor who drinks while you're at it?  A 4 sucks.

Oh, well. It's all poisoned water under the bridge. I won't sleep tonight, but that's okay. I wouldn't have slept anyway, even if I got a better rating, because now I'm thinking about how I botched the Tyrone's Inferno pilot. That show would have gotten a 7 for sure. I'm pretty sure it would have. I liked it. I just didn't know it at the time.

FYI, you can also see an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast that Sarah and I wrote called $20.01. One of the long ones we did, before I sucked, I guess. The taste-makers have given this an 8. So, it's twice as good as Eltingville. Maybe you should watch it instead. Or watch something that got a 9. God, my stomach hurts.

Thanks to H.O.F. reader Craig J. Clark for the heads up on this. I give him a 5.