Dinosaur Dracula!

Classic Christmas Commercials, Volume 8!

Scary truth: Christmas is less than a month away, and if you so much as blink, the season will be over. Gobble it up while you still can!

Look at pretty lights and listen to cheesy music. Watch Scrooged, and nod along with Frank’s meaning-of-Christmas speech. Suck the end of a candy cane until it’s all nice and pointy, and then use it to threaten your enemies.

I myself will celebrate the old fashioned way: By writing a thousand words about Christmassy TV commercials from 1985.

Below: The latest edition of Classic Christmas Commercials, back for another season of thrills, chills and YouTube videos with terrrrrible audio quality. Enjoy!

Chicken McNuggets for Christmas! (1980s)

I’ve mentioned this ad on Dino Drac before, but if ever a commercial merited two love letters, it’s the one where sentient Chicken McNuggets argue over how they’d prefer to be eaten.

This was just another of several McDonald’s commercials that pushed Chicken McNuggets as the go-to appetizer for holiday parties. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen McNuggets treated that way “in the wild,” but I still grew up believing that that was how adults lived.

Like you’d have this sitcom cliche office party filled with expensive clothes and box wine, and some magic butler would be walking around with a tray of Chicken McNuggets. That’s what I thought adulthood was about. That and jet skiing.

Side note: On the long list of fictitious pets that I’d kill to own, I’d put a living Chicken McNugget between Gizmo and the Puckmarin. He could be my little pocket buddy, who’d crouch on cue so I wouldn’t have to pay for two movie tickets. Read More…

Dino Drac’s Stuffed Artichokes Recipe!

Let’s talk about artichokes.

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Many of you do not fully comprehend artichokes, and that’s understandable. They’re vegetables with fifteen asterisks, and they look like tiny sleeping Audrey IIs. Hell, even I don’t fully comprehend them.

Nevertheless, in my family, no Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve dinner is complete without at least two dozen artichokes. Stuffed with flavorful goodies, what begins as an army of organic maces ends as a salty, tender side dish.

The artichoke sponges up whatever surrounds it, so if you throw enough cheese, garlic and oil at the thing, it’s bound to taste good.

Let’s walk through this… Read More…

10 Weird Things We’re Thankful For!

The holiday gods have chosen me for their annual sacrifice! I have a fever that’s getting worse by the hour, and a light congestion that’s actively baiting me to cough so it can reveal itself as much, much worse congestion. Fun!

If this stays the course — and knowing my body, it will — we’ll be spending Thanksgiving quietly at home. Which… actually isn’t the worst thing in the world?

I’ll get to wake up and watch the parade and never once have to worry about getting out of my Kool-Aid pajamas. Maybe we’ll even subvert the old Christmas Story tradition and order Chinese for Thanksgiving. I could think of worse ways to spend the holiday.

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Fortunately, I haven’t hit Peak Sick quite yet, so we were FINALLY able to finish a new episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast!

It’s our first show since, what, September? Life got in the way for a while, but we’re happy to be back… and especially happy to be back just in time for some kind of mutant Thanksgiving show.

This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit talk about ten things we’re thankful for, like, uh, Clamato and Jakks Big Figs. And a song from the Ninja Turtles’ Coming Out of Their Shells tour. Yes, that’s where we’re going.

Give us a listen by clicking the giant, ugly play button down below!

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You commuter types can also download this week’s episode by right-clicking here.

Thanks to everyone who oh-so-gently poked us over the last month or so, wondering when a new episode might drop. Knowing that people cared motivated us to get back on the horse, and we look forward to resuming a regular schedule from here on out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go become one with the couch while treating ginger ale like an antihistamine.

Oh hey, how about a survey?

In the comments, tell me and everyone else about some of the weird things that YOU’RE thankful for. Be heartfelt if that’s your bag, but feel free to just rave about a beloved brand of potato chips, too.

Enjoy the show!

Dino Drac’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe!

Well, here’s my recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing — a perfect fit for this ‘80s/’90s nostalgia blog.

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Stuffing is my only must-have Thanksgiving dish. The turkey is okay and I love a good artichoke, but all I really need is the stuffing. Piles of it. Enough to build a decoy Matt completely out of wet bread.

It’s gotta be the homemade kind. If you’ve only ever had Stove Top, it’s just not comparable. I adore Stove Top, but that stuffing and homemade stuffing are two completely different dishes.

Stuffing is one of those dishes that’s impossible to get wrong. (Well, actually, it’s pretty easy to get wrong, but the miraculous thing about stuffing is that it is always salvageable, no matter how badly you treat it.)

Below is my recipe, which is technically my family’s recipe, albeit with some modifications. Read More…

Toys from the 1993 JCPenney Catalog!

Sit. Make a cup of coffee. Wrap yourself one of those $10 throw blankets, because I know they’re your vice. This one’s gonna take a while.

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Below are nine finds from the 1993 JCPenney Christmas catalog, a 600+ page behemoth filled with toys and video games and lime green lingerie.

I would’ve been in the eighth grade at the time, a little less into action figures, but desperate to not let anyone know that I was still into them at all. Video games and shitty sneakers were safer picks, but I still managed to satisfy my inner six-year-old whenever no one was looking. (Hip hip hooray for Christmas vacation.)

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Street Fighter II Tabletop Game!
($39.99)

Essentially a souped-up version of Rock ‘em Sock ’em Robots, here we had Guile and Ryu beating the holy hell out of each other. I’m glad that they didn’t go with the safer-but-boring Ryu/Ken matchup, but the perfect world version of this game would’ve so obviously pitted Blanka against Dhalsim.

The warriors’ kicks and punches were scored by strange electronic noises, which I suppose made up for the fact that this Rock ‘em ripoff didn’t let you punch Ryu and Guile’s heads off of their bodies. C’mon! Read More…

2016’s Hottest Holiday Junk Food, Part 1!

The Christmas/holiday season never beats Halloween on the candy front, but you still get plenty of reasons to jump for junk food joy and gain forty pounds.

Judging by what I’ve seen so far, the 2016 season brings an unusually robust assortment, with all manner of chips and chocolates competing for my debit swipes. If you’re into this sort of thing, below are five foods to keep an eye out for!

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Christmas Crunch Cereal!

Ahh, they finally updated the box! This is huge!

Christmas Crunch fans openly pleaded with Quaker to ditch the previous box design, not because it was bad, but because they’d used it for four straight years. Christmas Crunch is one of the season’s tastiest traditions, yes, but it was hard to act like buying the exact same cereal in the exact same box was just as exciting after the fourth consecutive year.

It’s why General Mills makes such a big deal about their annually-changing Monster Cereal box designs. Even if they do occasionally misfire (and I concede that this year’s “election” theme was in retrospect a big wah-wahh), those cereals would never maintain their online buzz without the yearly art swaps.

So thanks for takin’ care of business, Quaker. The new-for-2016 design has some detractors, but I friggin’ LOVE it. With Cap’n Crunch subtly evoking Clark Griswold, it’s a merry mess of snow and string lights. I like how it blends in-your-face Christmas imagery with that “nondenominationally icy” stuff. Mixing the two is a way cool look.

GRADE: A. Read More…