Dinosaur Dracula!
Dinosaur Dracula

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 37!

After I selected the ads for this edition of Five Retro TV Commercials, I worried that they were a little blah. Then I started writing about ‘em and realized, OH, shit, I’m actually super invested in every last one.

Sometimes you don’t know how you feel about something until you’re forced to write 200 words about it. Try that out the next time you’re deciding between paint colors or pairs of sneakers.

Jaws 2 on ABC! (1987)

In April of 1987, ABC ran Jaws 2 in primetime. I bet that was intended to rebuild awareness before Jaws: The Revenge hit theaters later that year. (Say what you will about Jaws: The Revenge, but I watched a lot of television at the time, and that movie got a huge push. The kids around here even adopted its tagline — “This time it’s personal!” — as a schoolyard taunt.)

Of the four films, I’ve seen Jaws 2 the fewest times. I remember practically every frame from the other movies, but all I can tell you about Jaws 2 is that it includes a shot of a dead orca. Over the years, this comparative unfamiliarity has morphed into me believing that I just like it less than the other films, but maybe that’s unfair. Jaws 2, you’re next on my Sunday afternoon half-stoned to-do list.

PS: I spent many years working on TV promos. There’s a real art to creating five-second spots. For my money, this one is very effective. You get a fin shot, a Jaws “hero” shot, a reactive scream and Martin Brody. That’s a lot to pack in five freakin’ seconds. My compliments to the producer, who I assume wore a Lacoste alligator shirt while creating this.

Wild Wings at Roy Rogers! (1989)

“Wild Wings” remains my all-time favorite Roy Rogers promotion. Take a mix of wingettes and drumettes, and serve ‘em with *three* outrageous sauces: Firehouse Red, Honolulu Honey and Meltdown Mustard. It felt more like a chemistry set than dinner.

I was a ketchup-only kind of guy, rarely alternating even for stuff as common as barbecue sauce. With Wild Wings, though, all bets were off. That was partly thanks to the sauces’ fetching exclusivity, but mostly because Roy’s gave them irresistibly funky names. Meltdown Mustard?! You’d be nuts to turn that down.

The promotion began in 1988, returned in 1989 and had one last run in 1994. Given how much easier split wings are to eat in restaurants and food courts, I’m surprised that Wild Wings never became a permanent part of Roy’s menu. They weren’t gonna steal every teenager away from McD’s and Burger King, but I think Wild Wings could’ve siphoned a few. Read More…

You must try Roasted Starburst!

No, really, it’s a thing. Thousands have done it. I don’t know how I went so long without hearing about ROASTED STARBURST, but now that I have, there’s no going back. I will never eat another fruit chew without burning it first.

I can’t claim credit for this tutorial. I followed the one from Instructables, though the Internet teems with many more. That’s what drew me in, actually. If that many people were roasting Starburst, then surely Starburst were worth roasting.

Consider it a fun replacement for the marshmallows you normally roast. Indeed, some even pair the fruity goo with chocolate and then sandwich that whole mess between graham crackers, for a tangier spin on s’mores. I prefer them au naturel.

It’s easy to do. You’ll just need Starburst, metal skewers and an open flame. Playlist of fire-themed songs is optional, but if you do add that, don’t sleep on David Bowie’s Cat People. Read More…

Purple Stuff tackles Friday the 13th: The Series!

Friday the 13th: The Series had long been a blind spot for me, but now that I’ve gotten better acquainted, I’m on my way to becoming a big fan. Mix The X-Files into The Conjuring universe, and add several dashes of Tales from the Darkside. That’s the vibe. You won’t even miss Jason Voorhees!

Me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit got our hands on a 1988 copy of a particular episode, complete with the original commercials. Naturally, we needed to do a podcast on it. Even if you’re not terribly interested in our thoughts about a random episode of an old TV show, stick around for discussions about Roger Rabbit, Roy Rogers and 7UP Gold!

Click here to listen to this week’s episode!

But wait! Before you do, you may be interested in this video…

Here’s the whole shebang, complete with ads! From the show’s first season, What a Mother Wouldn’t Do is about a cursed cradle that can keep a sick baby alive so long as her mother goes on a murder spree. I really dug this one, and it’s inspired me to dive into the rest of the series.

The commercials include everything from zany hotlines to a promo for Monkey Shines, so there’s a lot to love in this one. Between the episode and our podcast, consider yourselves BOOKED for two whole hours.

As a reminder, the Purple Stuff Podcast is also on Patreon, where you can grab an exclusive bonus show each and every month. (June’s will be released soon!)

Thanks as always for your ears, and enjoy the show! Below are some screengrabs from the various commercials we’ll be discussing: Read More…

Dino Drac’s June Funpack is here!

It sure doesn’t feel like it, but we’re about to enter the summer season. Kinda feels like it’ll be a wash in 2020, which was why I wanted to give this month’s Funpack a decidedly summery flavor. You may not be able to hit many arcades this year, but at least you’ll get this!


With around a dozen items in all, the June 2020 Funpack is summer in a box. You’ll get everything from a weird movie to awesome candy to old school collectibles, and — if you’re lucky — something with a Ninja Turtle on it.

You know the deal by now. The Funpacks are $25 a month (including shipping), and for as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll keep getting boxes of old-and-new goodies each and every month. (You can cancel anytime without penalty, of course!)

Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything in the June Funpack! Read More…