Thursday morning.


The deal: Things became really busy over the last few weeks. As busy as I’ve been in a long time, and too busy to run Dino Drac right. Rather than put up really weak no-thought content (yeah, even weaker than a Twizzler robot), I decided to just get through the storm and return to this once it passes.

I’m finally over the hump, but I’d say there’s about a week left before I can really dive back into the site. But, I’ll be back with fun stuff soon enough. Hope everyone had a great 4th, even if it was doomed as a midweek blip.  See you soon!

154 Responses to Thursday morning.

  1. I spent the day today doing pretty much nothing aside from watching G1 Transformers on Netflix. I remember a handful of episodes, but even back then I stopped watching it somewhere around Season 2. So, I finished up that season, and just started watching Transformers: The Movie.

    At the beginning of the movie, the narration states that it takes place “in the year 2005.” Did I miss something? Because according this, some big shit went down back in ’05. I mean we straight up almost got our planet ate up.

  2. @ DJ D – That’s assuming Transformers takes place in *this* universe. O-ho!

  3. @ DJ D – There are so many continuities in the Transformers now. TF:The Movie (1986) is just one in the far distant future of 2005! Actually speaking of which IDW comics has really breathed new life into TF. There have just started two new series “Robots in Disguise” and “More Than Meets the Eye” that I got hooked on. Plus the original series from Marvel than ran from 1984 – 1991 is set to return this month continuing those story lines. These are great days to be a Transformers nerd! :) Oh and TF season 2 had one of the best 80s cartoon intros.

    Transformers Season 2 Intro

  4. Hey, anybody here know who performed the Alf cartoon intro.

    I totally forgot about this until I heard it again. What a catchy intro!

  5. Sorry for the double.

    John V, the IDW series has really picked up since All Hail Megatron (which really sucked in my opinion. Pretty much disregarded everything Furman did).

    Love how the season 2 intro show Grapple and Red Alert, but they rarely show up in the series.

  6. Don’t forget about GI Joe / Transformers volume 1 coming out August 28. It has the 4 issue Marvel series plus 4 issues of GI Joe featuring the Transformers. Yes it certainly is a great time to be a Transformers fan.

    -OSM/Butcher Chops

  7. DJ D, you were hungover that day. It was almost on CNN, but we were like “Well, Unicron’s dead, we should just move forward.”

  8. Speaking of Alf, next week on The Hub is going to be Alf Week. In addition to the nightly Alf reruns, they are going to have new stuff of Alf providing commentary on the other shows (Mork and Mindy, Facts of Life, and Happy Days).

  9. Brandon- I love the Hub, but their schedule change has given the shaft to two of my favorite shows- Laverne and Shirley and Batman! ALF isn’t the worst thing on TV by a long shot (this is cable we’re talking about), but it hasn’t aged well at all. Why am I suddenly reminded of iCarly?

  10. “Actually speaking of which IDW comics has really breathed new life into TF. There have just started two new series “Robots in Disguise” and “More Than Meets the Eye” that I got hooked on. Plus the original series from Marvel than ran from 1984 – 1991 is set to return this month continuing those story lines.”JohnV
    Yeah, I’ve actually been keeping up with the books quite a bit. I haven’t been buying them too much, but I keep up with what comes out. I’m pretty jazzed that they revived the original series, especially since they got the original artist who was working on it back then to come back.

    How is it all that stuff went down back in ’05 and I didn’t come out of it with a transforming suit?

  11. Okay, I’ve seen the redesigned Chuck E Cheese twice, and here is the my opinion: Not much carryover from the last redesign. When he went from rat to mouse, mainly they just changed the clothes, from top hat to ball cap. Like webcomic Maximumble pointed out, he went from 80s skate punk to 90s rocker. A bit too thin in my eyes, implying that one doesn’t get much nutrition from the food. (not that anyone considers what they have real food anyway) The big difference is he’s shrunk. Really? How will they justify having some poor worker coming out in a Chuck suit if he’s running around on the tables like actual vermin in the TV ads?

    I miss the freaky animatronics of my youth.

  12. DJ D – I’m glad we don’t have to wear those silver one piece jumpsuits. They’re so tight, they might make my no no spot look less than flattering….

    Kinglash – I saw the re-designed Chuck E. Cheese the other day, and I was like WTF???? I seriously had just seen the previous re-designed hand animated kid size one the day before and wondered what sort of shenanigans they were trying to pull…..??

  13. “I will never hide my X-E friends though. I love you all. Jug, you better never remove me.”Super Jaclyn
    Oh, you’re safe. FOR NOW.
    *rubs hands together, cackles; thunder clap in distance*

    “If I officially change my X-E / DD name from ‘Old School Mike’ to ‘Butcher Chops will you all still remember me?”OSM
    As a fellow sideburn-sporter, my vote definitely is for “Butcher Chops.

  14. Re: Chuck E. Cheese re-design

    Holy …! I thought that stupid vermin was scary before! It wasn’t enough that I cried at a Chuck E. Cheese as a four-year-old, now they gotta give me nightmares as an adult??? Just when I think that stupid mouse/rat/Hell-spawn isn’t scary any more, they go and pull this!

  15. I worked at Chuck E. Cheese for one year. My first job. Awful. But fun? But awful. I can’t decide.

  16. If Matt reviewed “Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation”, it’d possibly be one of the funniest movie reviews on Dinosaur Dracula. The film is so good and it finally comes to DVD next month! :D

  17. I feel bad that I never had a typical “summer job” experience. They were never fun (or terrible depening on perspective) like at an ammusement park, Chuck e Cheese, or anything like that… I always worked at car dealerships. It was lame but I got to drive brand new Corvette’s so that was good.

    Now in my 2nd week of internship at the hospital… Surgical service. 76 hr worked in 5 days and surprisingly i LOVE it!!!

  18. 1. Bought the new LIGHTING GREMLIN from NECA. Very interesting.
    2. With the whole name change, I never know who is who. I still think of Neg as Knegative so…
    3. I read an interesting article on CRACKED that stated the CHUCK E. CHEESE would be wise to go back to their original design because kids don’t care about the mascot but the adults who pay/drive/pull the strings would. Adults today were the ones who knew what is was like in its late 70s and early 80s would be more motivated to go, etc.
    Not at all financially feasible but I would be for it.

  19. Anyone remember when Chuck E. Cheese’s was Showbiz Pizza? Who am I kidding, I’m sure this conversation has been kicked around a dozen times on this site. Ain’t gonna lie, I would probably go to the Chuck E. Cheese in my town if I wasn’t afraid of getting capped. Seriously, there has been more than one shooting there… at a place that is meant for childhood merriment. Montgomery is a classy, classy place.

  20. Cheetara, our local Chuck E. Cheese is in a pretty dangerous area too. That’s kind of redundant in the Bronx, but it’s between the parking lot of a Home Depot, a motel with only hourly rates, and an empty lot that used to be a strip club. So particularly shady, for a children’s party hotspot.

    At our Chuck E. Cheese, the whimsy is contained within. The world is a cruel place and once you cross the threshhold, you’re on your own. I think that’s a nice lesson for kids to pick up early.

  21. Rev: You would think that if the area containing said children’s party hotspot started to go downhill in terms of safety (the area ours is in was not that bad when I was a youngun), they would opt to move it someplace else. Bump that, who cares about the kiddies’ safety! I suppose the fault lies with the parents who still tempt fate by dragging them there in the first place.

  22. We also have a convenient assortment of predators who lurk outside the back door to the Chuck E. Cheese. Not the violent or sexual kind of predators. A more subtle and insidious type.

    The guys who sell cheap toys from a cart.

    They know those kids are going to come out all hopped up on lousy pizza and sugar. They know your lamewad kids aren’t good enough to win the good toys from the games. They know you’ll do just about anything to get those kids to shut their wordholes for five minutes. That’s why they shoot your child with a bubble gun, or wave a colorful bootleg Dora the Explorer balloon in her face. They block the exit so you can’t get out without your sticky, howling child seeing the pitch.

    When Little13 hatches, I’m keeping her away from there. There is no room in my life for knockoff Doras.

  23. Wow… and apparently they are sanctioned by CEC to do it. If they weren’t, wouldn’t the cops chase them off? Still, that’s a pretty cheap tactic, trying to push you into spending more when you’ve just blown like $50 on food and games.

    Oddly enough, the thing that stands out most in my mind is this rad spaceship ride they had. It was covered in sparkly purple paint and blinking lights, and after you climbed inside and fed it quarters, it would make beep-boop noises and let you move it up and down via joystick. You know, that and the horrifying animatronic animals. Do they even still do that?

  24. I don’t know if they’re sanctioned by anyone. The Bronx is kind of like the wild West. Law don’t go roun’ here.

  25. CHUCK E. CHEESE and SHOWBIZ were initially different companies.
    The weird thing is that SHOWBIZ was winning, bought out CHUCK E, but then the realigning happened and CHUCK E won.
    Click my name for a link.

  26. Huh. I recall the main mascot for Showbiz being some bear-thingy, then noticed that he showed up in the animatronic show after it became Chuck E. Cheese, so I just figured it had always been the same company (but that the mouse was more popular than the bear). The more you know! *rainbow*

  27. Both used to exist in Jacksonville in the early 80s. The ROCK-A-FIRE EXPLOSION (band) at the Jax location was the first ever installed.
    The CHUCK E CHEESE was huge, like a warehouse, with multiple rooms. I have never been able to find any pics of it online so I cant prove it but it was awesome.

  28. I have fond memories of Chuck E. Cheese from elementary school. In my ‘hood you just weren’t cool unless you had a birthday party there. I hear some of the tokens have become highly collectible over the years, wish I would have saved mine instead of feeding them into that damn Moon Patrol machine.

    -Butcher Chops / OSM

  29. Why the F*ck did I just watch all three of those videos???

    I couldn’t take my eyes off of them…!

    WTF did I just watch….???!

  30. Chuck E. Cheese was founded by Nolan Bushnell, otherwise known as the founder of Atari.

    Hulu has a feature-length documentary on the Rock-a-fire Explosion animatronic band. Click my name to watch!

  31. I had to watch the origin of CEC at my orientation. Fascinating. Also, you weren’t an employee…you were a CAST MEMBER.

    Highlights of my CEC experience:

    -Having to make cotton candy at 8:00am and almost burning down the building because I was DOING IT WRONG.

    -Being as tall AS the children (I’m 5’1″) and one time while dressed as Chuck, they pulled my sleeve up, screamed CHUCK E IS A PERSON and I had to go back to the sweltering hot Chuck E room to hide for like an hour until they went away. That was my final straw on being Chuck E. Never did it after that.

    -Learning the birthday dances

    -Hearing the same songs 3x an hour

    -Stamping each family a different number at Kid Check. As the kids leave, guarantee they’re smudged and you can’t tell if they’re the same numbers. I got called out on this once, this man going “This doesn’t even look the same. YOU’D JUST LET PEOPLE GO?” I was 16, did I care?

    -They serve beer at CEC. I was a cashier, so having to call up one of the ‘team leads’ that was at least 18 to serve it.

    -One time while I was working, a kid threw up in the tubes and we made the new girl clean it up even though it should’ve been my job because I was working the floor then.

    It ended up being fun. I also met my high school boyfriend there that I went on to date for 2 years (my first serious boyfriend) so there’s that. Before I started dating him, another guy there asked me out for Valentine’s Day. We had these stuffed fake flowers with smiley faces on them for prizes, and he bought 10 of them and gave them to me on our date. So cheesy.

    This was 9 years ago and I’m friends with some of the older girls that worked there…and they STILL WORK THERE.

  32. Super Jaclyn- That reminds me of the time I was working a morning shift at McD’s and had to clean some feces out of the Play Place. The worst part was exiting through the slide.

  33. I’ve only been in a Chuck E. Cheese once as a kid, and even back then it was decidedly Not My Thing. Just wasn’t into it at all. Fairly sure if I would step into one now that it would be full-on personal hell territory for me, ranking seven levels worse than waiting in line at the DMV.

  34. Don’t be silly. They say a person’s tastes change every 7 years. I think it’s pretty obvious you’re in the loving Chuck E. Cheese phase of life right now. I could totally see you being seriously into it.

    Let your inner bearded child run free and unfettered into the swirling cesspool of happy germs that is the ball pit of juvenile glee. Go to Chuck E. Cheese.

    Be that weird guy lurking in a Chuck E. Cheese.

  35. Hoverbored, if I closed Kid Check up front, it was my job to clean inside the tubes. You had to go in and spray the windows. Again, I’m tiny, so it was fine…but exiting down the slide WAS awful. And it smelled like feet. Also, I forget how to bold here, since it’s not what it used to be.

  36. @ Super Jaclyn –
    “We had these stuffed fake flowers with smiley faces on them for prizes, and he bought 10 of them and gave them to me on our date. So cheesy.”

    I dunno, I think it sounds kind of sweet, in a goofy high-school way. But then, I’m a guy so my read on these things is probably all wrong.

    Also, they swiped “cast member” straight from Disney.

  37. The last time I went to a CEC it was for my little cousin’s birthday party. The only thing I remember was that “Chuck” was this lone animatronic deal that would occasionally spring to life. A far cry from the horrifying band that I was used to as a kid, back when we used to go to Showbiz.

    Also, the pizza was absolutely terrible. I did find out that I still have the skills when it comes to skee ball though. Hadn’t played it in years, but it came right back. I won a ton of tickets and gave them to some kid that was just standing next to me. I think I made his day. Either that, or he thought I was trying to groom him so I could take him out back and play “Where’s the ink smudge?”

    I don’t know why I just went so dark all of a sudden. I’m sorry about that.

  38. Showbiz was pretty awesome. I loved Billy Bob, and Fatz Domino was the start of a thirty-year fascination with big monkeys. I used to watch them with a face full of imitation Italian cuisine and wonder if those were just people on stage, or if they were real live honest-to-gosh robots.

    This was still a couple of years before I saw James Cameron’s eye-opening documentary. I was blissfully unaware that inside my beloved gorilla with the gold tuxedo lurked a soulless terminator wishing to do me harm. Ah, the naivete of youth.

    I recently discovered that somebody syncs old Rock-afire Explosion footage with modern music on youtube. It’s…strange, but interesting: Rock-afire, “Electric Feel”

  39. What the hell did I just watch? That has to be one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen. And why does the drummer look so paranoid?

  40. Cameron T – I watched that Rock-a-Fire Explosion documentary over the weekend. So great and yet so sad. I used to love Showbiz, especially Billy Bob’s gas station.

  41. Hah! I meant Fatz Geronimo. Stupid soundalike names.

  42. Super Jaclyn- You have to write “strong” in the html brackets for bold; “em” is for italics.

    Daviel McKaye- Kinda weird that they made a puppet based on Fats Domino a monkey. Those were less P.C. times, I suppose. Why is it they never made the drummer an octopus? It’s so obvious.

    All I remember is that at age 3 or 4 I was scared to death at a Chuck E. Cheese and started crying loudly. Apparently I caused a bit of a scene. My Ma was glad to leave anyway; she recalls it was noisy as heck.

  43. I have very vague memories of Showbiz Pizza from when I was tiny. We had a local place that was similar called Peter Piper Pizza and I loved that stupid place. They didn’t have any animatronics or anything, just a ballpit and a big arcade. I had at least one birthday there.

    The first and only time I went to CEC was sometime in the mid 90s for my oldest nephew’s birthday. I don’t recall having anything resembling a good time.

  44. [strong]Hoverbored:[/strong] To this day I have only a very vague idea of who Fats Domino was. Basically all I know is that he had a neat name, so I’ve probably been their target audience all along. Around the time when I was in the second grade the name of my school was changed from Seminole Elementary to something like Sandal Eagle Elementary. At the time they played it off like they were honoring our principal, or maybe he was the superintendent or something, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was some kind of “stealth PC” thing. It just hadn’t caught on yet at that point.

    The Octopus drummer totally had to have come up in some kind of planning session, but it probably would have required eight times as many animatronic doohickeys and eight times as much programming as the others. Probably not too cost effective.

    I’m guessing this is also why Billy Bob’s best friend is nothing more than a bird head in a trash can.

    Random aside — I love the fact that “doohickeys” doesn’t trigger the spellcheck filter but “animatronic” and “spellcheck” do.

  45. Did anyone ever go to Circus Playhouse? Same deal with the pizza, arcade games and animatronic animal band. The piano player was also a monkey–an orangutan.

  46. Modok – I went to Circus Playhouse!
    I remember they had “Whack-a-Devil” as opposed to the “Whack-a-Mole” at Showbiz.

  47. Damn I love whack-a-mole, or the alternate version with alligators, or any game where I get to vent my frustrations with some form of mallet. Also, all this talk of Showbiz/ChuckECheese made me think of the Daria episode where she makes her parents and Quinn accompany her to a place called Pizza Forest where people in animal costumes sing to them.

  48. When I was a kid I had a dream that Fatz Geronimo jumped his keyboard and chased me around Showbiz. I was never the same at birthday parties.

  49. I keep seeing commercials for a place called “Dave and Busters” and I want to go. It looks like a grownup version of Showbiz/Chucky Cheese. But they’re isn’t one in Iowa, so I have no idea why they show their commercials here.

  50. Daviel,

    The reason for the ELECTRIC FEEL song being done by the Rock-a-Fire Explosion is because they were in the REAL video by the group MGMT.
    Click my name. They don’t show up until the end.

  51. If DinoDrac could be a franchise eatery/arcade thing, I could see a big animatronic DD singing “I Put A Spell On You” while playing a sax. But there would have to be other characters as well, denizens of Tyrannovania, or wherever it is Dinosaur Draculas come from.

  52. Maybe Matt should consider registering the Dinosaur Dracula trademark…

  53. King JLA, Dave and Buster’s are really fun! It basically is an adult CEC. After a certain time in the night, you have to be at least 21 to enter, I believe. Drinking and arcade games, WIN.

  54. @kingklash – I would so go to a DinoDrac version of CEC…oh yeah and I’d bring my kid too. It would have to serve Purplesaurus Rex of course :)
    denizens of Tyrannovania – love it, Matt should get a copyright on this stuff before someone makes a friggin mint off this idea!

  55. I gotta say, “The Facts of Life” is so insanely maudlin it’s hilarious. I’m watching an episode where Tootie has a hearing problem and the girl with Cerebral Palsy was there for some reason. I have nothing against people with C.P., but just what does this girl’s presence add to the plot?

    Did I ever mention that I can do a really good impression of Mrs. Garrett? She really does sound lie a parrot.

  56. @Manimal – That’s awesome! I never would have thought to check out the original video for the song. I’m kind of stunned that Aaron Fechter is still involved with it after all these years. Mindblowing.

  57. Finally got my happy ass over to the DinoDrac. Everything looks great and what’s even better is seeing that renewed passion from Mr. Matt. I will try not to be a stranger like i was the past 2-3 at X-E.

  58. Welcome back phunq

  59. Man I can’t wait for Sunday… MOTHER EFFING BREAKING BAD. I am excite. Still kinda sad about them offing Gus, but at least I’ve still got Mike- AKA World’s Deadliest Grandpa, as the boyfriend and I like to call him.

  60. Dave & Buster’s is pretty cool. I’ve only been there once, but me and the wife had a pretty good time. She got some tasty, not to mention nice looking, drinks, while I had the usual beer. The games were fun, but I wish they had more arcade games, rather than more skill/ticket games. If you haven’t been there I’d recommend checking it out. And come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Chuck E. Cheese. I know I wanted to when I was a kid, but I don’t think I ever saw any on any trips. Then again, I was always playing with toys or video games in the car whenever we went anywhere.

  61. Forget Chuck E. Cheese, bring back Major Magic!

  62. @Cheetara I am more excited for Breaking Bad this weekend than I am for my birthday (also this weekend) or The Dark Knight Rises next weekend. I cannot wait to see what depths Walt sinks to this final season.

  63. @Brandon – I have it on good authority that Walt abandons his criminal empire and gets his old job back. We spend the entire final season watching him grade exams.

    It sounds boring, but it’ll be really exciting. The series finale has him decide whether class participation pushes Johnny up to a B-minus.

  64. Dinosaur Dracula: we got the Phunq. You know it’s classy, because it starts with PH! And the Q stands for Sauce.

  65. There’s a Dave & Busters within 30 minutes of me. I need to drive up there and check it out. If they have DDR, they can have ALL my money.

  66. I haven’t been to Dave n Busters in a lil while because its kinda outta the way and would be expensive as hell to have a cab take us there n back. However there’s a bar/arcade called The Boneyard which is pretty much a mini version of D&B which is also a good time (although they need more pinball machines) and also is closer. I’d have to say though that my fave bar/arcade would be Barcade. I went to the one in Brooklyn a couple years ago and WOW! It features All classic arcade games that only cost a quarter to play PLUS awesome microbrews on tap as well (expensive but DAMN tasty). The wall out front had an AWESOME mosaic of a space invader as well. Highly recommended!

  67. Ch ch ch ha ha ha….

  68. Brandon: Breaking Bad on Sunday, Dark Knight Rises at the end of next week, then the week after that I’ll be vacationing in New Orleans/Texas. Excitement!

  69. How is it that there are no Friday the 13th movies anywhere on cable today? It’s criminal I tell ya.

  70. Anyone have any series favourites they’ll be watching tonight? Or any other films they like to watch on this notable day?

  71. Click my name to get funky on this, the first Friday the 13th in DINOSAUR DRACULA history.

  72. Friday the 13th, II and III…you can keep the rest. Love that F13 pIII intro, sound like a 80s porno. Gonna make that my new ringtone. The Hub has Gremlins 2 on at 11 PM it’s no F13 movie but at least they’re trying to keep the spirit!

  73. I hate to do it……but I HAVE to do it. My review for “The Rock-afire Explosion” (Showbiz Pizza) documentary.
    In case you are too lazy to click the link….or you don’t like to read….I’ll tell you this, I think if you REMEMBER Showbiz you’ll enjoy it, if you don’t know what Showbiz is, I’m not sure you’ll get anything out of it.

  74. Oh, also I drop a Pooyan reference….if that means anything to anybody. And it probably doesn’t.

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