Laugh Busters (NBC, 1984)

Anyone who is a collector has their own personal list of holy grail items. You know, the things they're looking for that if found could easily cause anything from significant blood pressure issues to their children missing out on a college education. Some of my own holy grail items are ones that I had as a kid, others that I've never seen, and some that I've searched for well over ten years. This past week I came up with one of the five items that I've long considered a personal holy grail.

Back in February of 2011, I shared some details about the 1984 NBC Saturday morning preview special called Laugh Busters. While most other Saturday morning specials from the 80s are easy to come by these days, Laugh Busters has always been one that has never surfaced. Unfortunately for me, that was the one that I wanted more than any other. I had an audio copy of the special recorded the night it initially aired almost 30 years ago...but after ten years or more of searching for any sign of a video copy, I had always come up empty.

Until last week.

A recent post on FASTE verifying the existence of the short-lived Going Bananas inspired me to reignite my search. After a quick stop at (other than YouTube, my favorite place for finding hard-to-find videos), I found that a video of Laugh Busters had finally surfaced. A quick purchase negotiation later and a DVD arrived in my mailbox today.

You can read my previous post about Laugh Busters for a full recount of the special, but let me tell you, seeing video footage of this for the first time since it originally aired in 1984 was beyond exciting for me. I'll do my best to provide you with some brief highlights...

Before getting in to the show itself, let me tell you how cool it was that the entire original broadcast was included on this DVD...commercials and all!


Shows just don't use bumpers anymore, do they?


Now for the actual Laugh Busters's a look at the "director", D.W., and his assistant.


Representing Going Bananas is the recently-departed James Avery.


And then there's the evil Gargamore. Not Gargamel (from the Smurfs) but Gargamore O'Dette.


Lots of celebrity appearances including Thom Bray from Riptide, Alfonso Ribeiro from Silver Spoons, Danny Cooksey from Diff'rent Strokes, KITT from Knight Rider, Roxanna Banana from Going Bananas, and the entire Kidd Video band.


Several bad character costumes can be found in this special -- not far removed from what you might find at a nearby amusement park -- including Spider-Man and Alvin and the Chipmunks.


Mr. T shows up. Sort of. At least an arm that is supposed to be Mr. T's shows up.


The special ends with a dance number that I didn't remember and didn't expect at all! Look closely and you'll see everyone from Danny Cooksey and Alfonso Ribeiro to the Kidd Video band all movin' and groovin' in honor of a successful Saturday morning special!

I realize that Laugh Busters is likely not considered a "holy grail" item in your eyes...but you have to realize something. My brother and I recorded this special onto an audio cassette the night it originally aired. That tape has survived all these years, most other Saturday morning specials have surfaced at one time or another, but Laugh Busters has always been a missing piece. I couldn't be more thrilled that this hole has been filled.

Now the search continues for the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe playset and an adult-sized Beastie Bucks shirt.

Going Bananas / JBS

I've mentioned several times in the past that my brother and I made a lot of audio recordings when we were kids. A lot! Sometimes it was just us playing but quite often we'd find ourselves with a tape recorder next to the TV on Saturday mornings. This has left us with several tapes full of commercials and show clips from the early 80s. As I've gotten older and come across others with a dear appreciation for their childhood years, I've found that several of the things we recorded have turned out to be somewhat obscure and hard to find (were we the only kids who watched Powerhouse?).

Tonight I was continuing my effort to track down a copy of Laugh Busters when I came across a LiveJournal post about a Saturday morning show called Going Bananas. The author mentioned the fact that due to lack of references and footage available online, he questions whether or not the show ever really existed. Armed with my childhood tapes, I was glad to be able to provide evidence to the contrary.

According to Wikipedia...

Going Bananas was a live-action superhero/comedy series made by Hanna-Barbera and ran from September 15, 1984 to December 1984 on NBC...Roxana Banana is an orangutan that escaped from the zoo and was adopted by the Cole family. One night, a mysterious spaceship comes down from the sky and endows Roxana with super powers via a lightning bolt. Roxana is pursued by two crooks who want to use her super powers for their own ill will, but Roxana's outdodging them by means of her powers, as well as the predicaments she creates for the Coles, provide much of the comedy for this series.

Each episode concluded with a short segment called JBS -- Jungle Broadcast System. JBS consisted of short clips spoofing popular television titles and was the part of the show that my brother and I deemed worthy enough to be recorded.

So here you have it. Evidence from my own tapes that Going Bananas actually existed.

10 Awesome Pieces of Karate Kid Art

To make a long story short, yesterday I retweeted @TVGuideArchives who shared that the television show Riptide had premiered 30 years ago. Larry -- the keeper of all things Hazzard -- responded to me by mentioning that in a few weeks, the Dukes of Hazzard will celebrate 35 years since its own premiere. This reminded me that a few days ago, Ralph Macchio had mentioned to his Twitter followers that the Karate Kid would be hitting the 30 year mark itself later this year.

That bring me to the point where I was searching for a custom Karate Kid poster I had seen a few months back. Googling "Karate Kid art" turned up more than I expected including several amazing pieces found on the site DeviantArt. Here are ten of my favorites (saving the coolest for last).

NIL8 & White Suburban Youth (1985)

A few weeks ago I came across what could be considered a gem for a handful of Central-Illinois music fans -- myself included.

Back in the early/mid 90s, I started listening to NIL8 -- a band from Springfield, IL that would quickly become (and remain) one of my favorite bands. It didn't take long for me to collect all of their studio recordings -- CDs and vinyl alike -- but I've remained on constant look-out for other memorabilia and such from the NIL8 heydays. Imagine my excitement to find a bootleg recording of a 1985 NIL8 show for sale on eBay! Five bucks and a few days later, the tape was in hand.

Based on the information on the insert and the tape itself, it appears that this was recorded in Springfield on June 29, 1985 (I was just about to turn ten) at Ursula Hall (Benedictine University?) following a band called White Suburban Youth.

This is awesome for me but I know there are plenty of other hardcore NIL8 fans out there who would love to give this a listen as well. It's not the greatest quality but it's listenable. I've not taken the time to break the recording down into individual tracks, but here it is in its entirety.

If you're interested, here's the White Suburban Youth set in its entirety as well.

As I've said many times before in instances such as this...God bless the internet.

Beastie Boys Scan / New Years Day

After neglecting this site for well over three months, a comment was left a few days ago on an old post requesting a scan of a Beastie Boys image printed in a Teen Beat magazine. So my first post since September is just that.

Happy new year.