Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Parachuting Penguins?

Wild Thang and Sammy the Toucan posted their latest early literacy blog. This installment covers the letter Pp.  That stands for parachutes and penguins.  So where's the video, Wild Thang and Sammy?  I saw you filming it the other day.  Still in editing?  I can imagine it was tough to videograph some parachuting penguins.  Isn't that what digitization is for?  You could just include some animations in the live video clip.  Like so:

Click Graphic Above to Play Video Clip

I found that video on YouTube.  It's amazing what one can find there.

What do I think of when I think of penguins?  Penguins.  That was sort of obvious.

Oh, I get it.  I'm supposed to say I think of our book trailer about penguins.

Click Graphic Above to Play Video Clip

(For some reason, Scowl-Face feels compelled to include playback instructions beneath the video clips. He didn't used to.  I guess since he needs to be told exactly what to do at all times, he thinks everybody is similarly situated.  Give my readers some credit, Scowl-Face.  They know how videos work.)

Speaking of Scowl-Face and parachutes, when he was a little lad, his favorite syndicated television program (for a couple of years, anyway) was Ripcord! (1961-1963), starring Larry Pennell (as Ted McKeever) and Ken Curtis (as Jim Buckley).  McKeever and Buckley operated a skydiving service called Ripcord!  They were parachuters-for-hire.  If you needed someone to reach some inaccessible place fast, these dudes were your go-to guys.  This plot device afforded a variety of weekly adventures in which our heroes chased criminals and rescued hapless victims of the screenwriters.  The skydiving sequences were just utterly way-cool.

A word about Ken Curtis.  Scowl-Face didn't realize until he was researching this for moi that Ken Curtis played the part of Jim Buckley. (To better appreciate Scowl-Face's fascination with this program, you need to know his real surname is the same as Curtis' character.)  You older readers may remember Curtis from the long-running TV series, Gunsmoke (1955-1975).  Curtis played Marshall Dillon's deputy, Festus (1964-1975).  Dennis Weaver played Chester, another of the marshall's deputies (1955-1964).  If, by virtue of your relative youth, you are unfamiliar with these characters (or the actors who performed them), check out a copy of Gunsmoke from your local library or video store.  You could do a whole lot worse for an hour's entertainment.  Your grandparents enjoyed the show, anyway.

You probably won't find Ripcord! at your favorite video rental establishment or public library, but you're welcome to look.  The show was fairly low-budget--it went directly into syndication--so it's possibly much cheesier than Scowl-Face remembers.  Maybe we should search YouTube for a clip.

I'm hoping Wild Thang and Sammy the Toucan (remember that this posting is actually about their letter Pp blog posting) finish and upload their Pp video soon.  Otherwise, I'll have to show more parachuting penguins.  Nobody wants that.

Maybe P stands for Philly cheese steak sandwiches, like Wild Thang mentioned in her PLA video.


Just Saying,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Early Literacy News Beat


P.S.  Here are the opening credits to, and the first few minutes of an episode of, Ripcord!  Does the series' theme song count as our musical closer?


P.P.S.  Episode 609 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 lampooned the abysmal movie, The Skydivers (1963), written and directed by Coleman Francis (a director worse than Ed Wood, if you can imagine).  Here is the original minute-and-a-half movie trailer, which might make the film appear palatable.  By itself, it isn't.  If you must watch it, see the MST3K version. You'll thank moi later.


P.P.P.S.  Here's a fifteen-minute slice of MST3K Episode 609.  Remember, those guys on the Satellite of Love (i.e., the silhouettes in the movie seats) are supposed to riff the movie.  MST3K invented the genre, after all.  This was Coleman Francis' best movie, by the way.  Red Zone Cuba (1966) and The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) were MUCH worse. They, too, received MST3K treatment, which makes them watchable, but just barely.

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