So the folks over at “AT-AT for America” have a plan to build a 70ft tall real life working version of the beloved impiral walkers. Their reasoning for doing it it’s just geekdom, it’s to prove the greatest of america. They have an open letter to President Obama, a pay-pal donation site and eventually a Kickstarter campaign. As ludicrous as this sounds, the 6 year old boy in me who watched Empire Strikes Back at the drive-in and couldn’t wait to go home and play with his Han Solo figure in the snow, really wants this to become a reality.
Ah “Good Furniture Magazine”. Who knew the Greenpoint Metallic Bed Co. on Franklin Street in my neighborhood of Greenpoint Brooklyn, made such quality Trip-Lock cribs. Notice the mom in high heels “tripping” the locks on this crib as her other son Buster Brown looks on. I suppose these cribs would have been recalled if they were still made. Maybe I will still try and send for their “Free Electrotype Service”.
With all the recent smurfs hub-bub, I was reminded of this gem of an album. Back in the 80s, I was pretty smurf obsessed. I had the figures, a smurf sleeping bag, and was a regular fan of the hanna-barbera cartoon series. At the time, like most Americans, I didn’t realize the smurfs were created back in the 1950′s as a Belgian comic by artist Peyo. When smurf fever was sweeping my childhood, lots of random European Smurf items unrelated to what I then considered “official” versions (aka the american cartoon characters and voices) appeared. The animated movie, “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is a good example of this (the black faced “jungle smurf” is a bad example of this).
One version that creeped me out as a child was this record I had gotten as a gift, “Father Abraham in Smurfland”. I had no idea who this amish looking man was, or why his giant head was floating over smurf village. None of the voices did I know, where was jokey smurf? Why is Papa Smurf not voiced by Scooby Doo voice actor Don Messik? The songs to me were weird, including “Smurfing Beer” which I think I have to re-listen to the original version. Since I’ve been to Belgian and love the original comics now, I might have a different appreciation for this childhood nightmare.
In the medieval times, deep in the European forest where Smurf Village lies, “Wimpy Smurf” (a movie only creation voiced by Woody Allen) is whining about how he can never get any attention from the other Smurfs cause he was just showed up by Hefty Smurf at some event during the Smurfy Smurfday celebration. He announces to the village he must journey out on his own and make a name for himself. None of the other Smurfs notice since they are too busy cheering for Hefty. Papa Smurf (poorly cast as Samuel L Jackson) makes an announcement that this is the Smurfiest day ever. Wimpy makes a neurotic self loathing comment and goes off into the woods.
Cut from medieval times to The Medieval Times restaurant in the Meadowlands, NJ. Ben Azul (get it! his last name is Spanish for blue! like a Smurf! genius writing! ; he’s played by a Jesse Eisenberg or Topher Grace type) is whining about how Debbie the hot girl who works as a “photo wench” (played by Mandy Moore with a really bad long bleached blond wig and a bad jersey accent), doesn’t notice him cause she’s “sort of” dating Derrek (the “hot” yet evil in a high school jock kind of way guy who is the green knight in the joust, played by a Chris Evans-type). Ben is a “serving slave” (their wacky name for a waiter) and is serving a rude family seated in the green knight’s section. The obnoxiousness of the father (played by Dan Aykroyd or the guy who played Newman on Seinfeld) is only outmatched by that of the fat tween son, who is constantly farting (to which is dad laughs and pats him on the back saying “that a boy son, clip of the old block”). The mother and sister are outraged by the rudeness of the male members of their family. Debbie gets up to the rude family to take their photo, just as Ben is pouring the son more Pepsi. The green knight wins and gets to put a floral wreath on the head of someone sitting in the green section. Derrek comes over and gives the wreath to Debbie, since he’s got the hots for her and they are “sort of” dating. The father of the family is outraged that it went to an employee and not his wife. He takes a swing at Derrek, but punches Ben instead. Ben, Derrek, Debbie, the father and the son all get tangled in a messy pile during this incident. Sitting next to the family inexplicably is gargamel’s gypsy-witch arch-rival Hogatha (played by Andrea Martin of SCTV fame, with a fake nose and crossed eyes). She is outraged that they are ruining her only night out in the 20th century and that she spent a full 35 bucks on this chicken leg dinner. She screams at them and casts a spell on all 5 of them to which they instantly disappear. The wife and daughter look over at Hogatha and shrug. Hogatha calls for another margarita.
Meanwhile back in Smurf village, Papa Smurf is gathering a group to find what happened to Wimpy Smurf who never returned after he wandered off after Smurfy Smurfday. Cut to the woods where the three teens all dressed in their medieval times uniforms appear in the woods. Confused as to where they are, they come across the wagon of a traveling minstrel and his cat. They asked the minstrel where they are and he asks them if they have seen any tasty… err i mean nasty… i mean charming little Smurfs around. To which Debbie says what’s a Smurf? Derrek says he thinks Smurf is Spanish or something. Ben asks the minstrel to tell them what he’s looking for, to which he flips off his robe revealing the fact that it’s the Smurfs nemesis, Gargamel! Gargamel uses a comically large net to capture the 3 teens. He takes them back to his house in the wagon and once there, places them in a large a cage that is hanging in the middle of his cottage (cause hey, that’s how he rocks). Also in the cage is Wimpy Smurf who, even though he is far smaller than the bars, never figured out he can walk through them. The 3 teens are shocked by Wimpy’s appearance (but oddly not really by the fact they have been transported back in time). Wimpy tells them he was captured by Gargamel and what Smurfs are and how Gargamel wants to melt half the village down and turn them to gold, and he wishes to eat the other half of the village (he’s not to sure why Smurfs turn to gold or why the plan makes no sense either). Wimpy and Ben realize how much they have in common.
Gargarmel comes back from an unexplained absence that was just long enough for Wimpy to tell his story, hungry for Smurf meat, yet still wanting to melt the rest of them down to make gold. Somehow to meet this wish he decides the best way to do this is a make a special female Smurf to lure all the other Smurfs back to his cottage while he cooks Wimpy in the mean time while he waits. So he calls forth a spell he has in a book to turns Debbie into Smurfette and places Wimpy on a kabob stick and starts to prepare the grill. Azrael knocks over some potion that just makes a lot of smoke just has Gargamel is about to grill Wimpy over the fire. Azrael is banished for her foolery, but in the mean time Smurfette, Derrek, Wimpy and Ben all escape into the woods.
Meanwhile the father and son just arrive in this time and somehow come across Smurf village. They are instantly cheered as heroes since the son accidentally found baby Smurf in a barrel of pickles he was about to eat. Having saved baby Smurf from death, the surfs decide to have yet another party, but decide to wait until Papa Smurf and the search party return. The fat kid is bored and sits on the Smurf dam, breaks it, and all the Smurfs get mad since he flooded their town and ask the father and son to leave. They find a cave to which the son barges into and starts farting in it. The dragon who lives in the cave rightfully finds this to be rude, and he eats the son. The father escapes. Azrael befriends the father who wants revenge on the Smurfs, since he inexplicably believes they control the dragon as well. Azrael realizes she can use him to get back at Gargamel.
Derrek is confused by Debbie’s transformation into Smurfette since now both him and Ben still have the hots for a girl who is blue and three apples tall. Derrek actually thinks Debbie is hotter now that she is blue and is constantly making blue balls jokes since Smurfette will not hook up with him. Wimpy and his new friends find Papa Smurf and the search party in the woods, and uh oh, seems like all of Smurf village also has the hots for Smurfette/Debbie. So they decide to throw yet another Smurfvest! Painter Smurf makes Smurferacations, Greedy Smurf makes Smurfberry pies, Brainy Smurf writes Smurfy poetry and Papa Smurf will be at the dunk tank (which would leave room for some awesome Samuel L Jackson lines). At the carnival, Handy, Farmer, Jokey and Clockwork all hit on Smurfette, Ben get quietly jealous and has a meaningful heart to heart with Wimpy while Derrek flips out on them and decides he’s had enough of all this blue dudes trying to get with his girl.
Just then, before any fights can start, Johan and Peewee (played by Daniel Radcliffe and Seth Green) arrive to warn the Smurfs that they have seen Gargamel, Azrael and some weird fat man (the father) heading towards Smurf village. The 3 evil doers must have met in the woods and since the father knew where the village was (and since Gargamel has been there like 100 times but can never seem to find his way back). They all travel there together to do the individually evil plans to the Smurfs. Smurfette had befriended Wimpy and it gives him confidence to tell the others he made friends with a dragon in the woods when he was thinking that it can help them. Just as the evil folks arrive, they are chased out of the village by the dragon breathing fire at their backsides. Wimpy is a hero. At the same time Smurfette/Debbie realizes how much Wimpy is like Ben, giving her feelings for Ben. She gives Wimpy a kiss on the cheek and somehow this magical realization makes her shed a single tear which turns her back into herself. But now the Smurfs are sad. So Papa Smurf turns Derrek into a new Smurfette to replace her. At first he’s like whoa no way, but then he’s totally into it cause he realizes that since there’s only one lady Smurf and 100 males he can get so much Smurf-play. All cheer, and Ben and Debbie ask father time and mother nature (papa Smurf’s friends who even though they are human sized and hadn’t been shown until now, were supposed to be at the carnival the whole time) if they can get back to their time, to which they can’t, but just then, Clumsy Smurf knocks over something heavy onto Ben’s head, making him wake up. Debbie is standing over him since it turns out he fell off a horse since he is now the green knight! Derrek is no where to be seen, Ben looks up at the king’s seat in the theatre where he sees Papa Smurf, Handy Smurf, Wimpy Smurf and Smurfette all sitting on the back of the chair to which they all wink. Wimpy has his hand around the waist of Smurfette/Derrek to which Ben gives Wimpy a thumbs up. Debbie and Ben kiss and the Medieval Time audience, including Hogatha and the mother and daughter applause (although they are not sure what they are clapping at, and they certainly don’t care that the male half of their family never returned).
Cut back to real medieval times where the father, Gargamel and Azrael are all still being chased by the dragon (who is voiced by Drew Carey), to which Gargamel screams “I’ll get those little Smurfs if it’s the last thing I do”. Jokey Smurf walks out over the screen with an explosive present saying “that’s a wrap folks”, which is opens and then it explodes revealing the credits that roll over an amazing cover of “how do you talk to an angel” by Justin Bieber or something off of “father abraham in Smurfland” done by the jonas brothers.
Like the alien life form said, “I want you… …to collect all 50 states!” and in 1987, my love of geography and Alf we perfectly combined in a trading card set (which i guess had 51 cards since the Uncle Sam card was a checklist). If memory serves me right, there was only one or two states I never found, so when I recently remembered I had these cards buried among some garbage pail kids and other assorted 80s trading cards, I figured I should start to share them. “Alien Productions” is to thank for these genius cards loaded with hilarious humor. I’ll be posting them in no particular order, but you can see just how funny the check list and Michigan are. Did you notice the topical “alien on board” window sticker! HA! I kill me! Did I find these funny cause I was 10 or cause it was written by a heroin addict? Oddly enough these were made in Italy. Was Alf ever an international sensation?