September 20, 1990 |
BART THE UNDERACHIEVER MAKES THE GRADE Never mind that some have labeled him an underachiever. As far as his fan and fellow pop-culture-phenomenon Michael Jackson is concerned, Bart Simpson is so baaad he's good. In fact, MJ is so impressed with Bart that he has written a duet that will pair him with the precocious cartoon cut-up. "Do the Bart, Man" is the title-in-the-works of the super-secret duet that Jackson and Bart are ready to record sometime before Christmas. "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," said Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons.
July 28, 1990 |
Edwin J. Ritchie, 76, a funeral director and an accomplished musician with a flair for entertainment, died Thursday at Albert Einstein Medical Center. He was a resident of the city's Fox Chase section. Mr. Ritchie, described by colleagues as a kibitzer and practical joker, will be buried from the Edward J. McGee Funeral Home, where he had worked for the last 36 years. "We've all been doing nothing but crying," one of his former colleagues said yesterday at the funeral home, at Third Street and Cheltenham Avenue.
July 20, 1990 |
Among your choices on cable TV tonight: a pair of Batmans. Or should that be Batmen? PRIME TIME PETS (8-8:30 p.m., Ch. 10) - When this show debuted, a lot of people called it a rip-off of David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment. But if you've been watching, you know that it has a sentimentality that Letterman probably couldn't muster if he tried, but which host Wil Shriner seems to handle with remarkable ease. It's really much more a rip-off of America's Funniest Home Videos, with one exception: While America seems to love watching people appear to get injured, howls of outrage would erupt if the same things were shown happening to animals.
November 21, 1989 |
You are 27 years old, two years out of graduate school and employed in your first "real" job. You sell bonds for one of the most revered power brokers on Wall Street, Salomon Bros. Inc. You don't fully understand what it is you are selling, or why you were hired, for that matter, but it doesn't matter. You made $90,000 last year and pulled in $225,000 this year. In two years, you can double that by making more dubious sales to unsuspecting customers. For the greed-is-good generation, such a life would be charmed, the envy of every business-school comer.
October 27, 1989 |
Jack Nicholson's Joker is appearing in Atlantic City tonight. Not bad. However, the Mardi Gras Showroom in the Showboat Hotel & Casino intends to top this attraction with tomorrow night's star. Would you believe President Bush? "Hogwash," you say? But if you amble into the showroom during one of these appearances, you might be stunned. That's how convincing comedian/impressionist Fred Travalena is, especially with those two roles. Those and others in his repertoire are the result of a serious approach to his craft.
October 26, 1989 |
Ghosts and goblins are passe: This Halloween belongs to Batman. Delaware County retailers say they are cashing in on the popularity of the Caped Crusader, who earned millions at the box office for Warner Bros. Batman costumes, they say, are selling like the proverbial hot cake. "There's going to be thousands of Batmans on the street Halloween night," said Kim Eck, a saleswoman at the Halloween Adventure shop in the Marple/ Springfield Shopping Center in Springfield Township.
August 31, 1989 |
The machine clicked away, producing numbered slips for customers who then found seats on the brightly painted benches at B & S Shoes in Drexel Hill. As the parents read the overhead charts listing the official shoes of area private schools, their children scrambled up a set of carpeted steps to make faces in a trick mirror. Meanwhile, the store's seven salespeople brought out shoes in sizes from B to triple E to show some of the 200 customers who visit B & S Shoes each day during the back-to-school rush.
July 4, 1989 |
Last September, Batpurists were spinning in Batcircles over news that Michael Keaton - the comic star of Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice - had signed on to play the Cowled Crusader, the Dark Knight, the Batman himself, in the Warner Bros. film shooting in London. Worse yet, Tim Burton, a guy whose only two movies were Pee-wee's Big Adventure and the aforementioned afterlife-farce, Beetlejuice, was directing. The last thing these Batphiles wanted was a comedy, and with credentials like Keaton's and Burton's, the project had yucks written all over it. Nine months later, and less than two weeks since its humongous opening in 2,193 theaters (on Sunday, Batman became the first film in history to gross $100 million in its first 10 days)
July 2, 1989 |
In the last week he has been analyzed by prominent psychiatrists, declared liable for the most pervasive syndrome since post-traumatic stress was found in returning Vietnam vets and has surprised a nation by earning $42 million in less than 72 hours. The diagnosis of Harvey Greenberg, professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is that "it's reasonably clear that this poor bugger is reliving the catastrophic death of his parents. " That "poor bugger," for those two or three of you who have failed to guess the identity of our mystery guest, is Batman.
June 23, 1989 |
What does it say about our spiritual void and urban fear that two of Hollywood's summer blockbusters are about the search for God and the other pair are about vigilantes' vanquishing bad vibes in Gotham? If Batman did nothing else but restore pulp-art shadow to the icon sanitized in his pop-art TV reincarnation, it would be an achievement. Tim Burton's Batman, starring a subdued Michael Keaton as you-know-who and a supercharged Jack Nicholson as the Joker, handily accomplishes that mission.