Absolutely Rose Street – 1994 SEGA 32X Infomercial

Just to get the obvious out there: I love old video game ads. I love infomercials. I love ’90s video techniques and effects.  I love terrible things that are trying to not be terrible.  All that said, this 30-minute infomercial for SEGA’s 32X add-on to their Genesis system is a confusing mess of objectives and…

The Game Is Very Simple – The Great American Telephone Trivia Game (1990)

The dawn of the cable infomercial and the pay-per-minute 1-900 telephone business opened up some pretty suspicious scam opportunities. TV psychics could tell your future, you could spend quality time with a pre-recorded Corey Feldman or a myriad other celebrities, and of course you could find some foxy company for the night – all delivered…

Five Things – 3.6.17 – POWER PLUS

TurboGrafx 16 Infomercial This 18-minute promotional video for the TurboGrafx 16 game system pulls a page or two from the Saved By The Bell book of video effects. Most videos like this have a terrible-yet-fun narrative angle threading the game showcases together, but outside of an awkward little kid occasionally playing unseen games we get a…

Five Things – 1.9.17 – Nickel, Nickel

Hammerman It should come as no surprise that MC Hammer, he of the pop charts and the parachute pants and the very-safe-edginess and the runaway early-90s success, had his own cartoon.  Hammerman ran on ABC in 1991, and only lasted one season. (My computer keeps trying to correct Hammerman to Hamilton.  Guessing this is the only time those…

Five Things – 1.2.17 – Sure, Mac, Sure

Connections: AT&T’s Vision Of The Future AT&T’s got a record of anticipating future trends and technologies that extends almost as far back as they do. They kind of have to; that’s their business.  This 1993 video, Connections, takes the emerging technologies of the internet and mobile phones and imagines a future that combines the two. And,…

Five Things – 12.12.16 – Alphie Says I Got It Right

Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story What holiday season would be complete without the ritual viewing of that one Christmas episode of that one show about the horse that can secretly talk and makes life miserable for the awkward suburban man who owns a horse that can secretly talk? Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story opens with Ed and Wilbur…

Five Things – 12.5.16 – I Can’t Sell It To You

Deck the Halls With Wacky Walls Wacky Wall Walkers were a very popular toy for a brief period in the early 1980s.  They were these rubber octopi that were sticky; you threw them against the wall and they would slowly “walk” down until the adhesive gave out and they just fell to the floor.  Super popular…

Five Things – 07.04.16 – You’re Weird Too, Then

Dollar a Second This 1981 reboot of a 1950s game show seems centered around insulting and humiliating people while occasionally throwing them a few dollars, and also about confusing the rest of us. Bob Eubanks conducts this train wreck in which contestants earn the titular Dollar A Second for as long as they’re on stage.  A…

Five Things – 06.20.13 – A Neon Sign Designer

Whew! This short lived Game Show featured an amazing set, a strange format, and good old Rod Roddy. Whew! is basically a string of lightning rounds with a little twist – in the “normal” part of the game one contestant tries to get through the board in a set amount of time while the other…