Tag Archives: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego

Belated In Memorium: Donald J. Sobol AKA a Requiem for Encyclopedia Brown

We like to fancy ourself as an amateur detective.  If someone loses their keys, we’re on the case.  If someone is being evasive about whom they went to dinner with last Sunday night, we get to the bottom of it.  If there’s an email address to be found by scouring pages of Google results, we’re going to find it.  If we spend a week in Aruba, we fully believe that we’re going to solve a high-profile, lingering unsolved murder.  In many cases we’re successful, in some cases we’re not (the latter, in particular, which is still keeping us up nights).  But that inquisitive, investigator spirit stays with us, and it’s been with us since childhood.  If you asked us at eight-years-old what we wanted to be when we grew up we’d say “baseball player” or “movie writer.”  Definitely one of those two.  But “detective” would have won the bronze, which is why in 9th grade we did a future career report on “FBI Agent” and nearly began working part-time for a private investigator a few months after college (it occurs to us now that we would be especially unsuited for that role, our small bladder no doubt serving as a hinderance during long stakeouts).  It’s perhaps why we fell so in love with Veronica Mars (the show and the character), and spent so many hours as a child in our grandma’s basement using her office supplies and copy machine (or “photostat,” as she so adorably referred to it) to assemble fake case files, pretending that stamping a folder “PAID” was equivalent to “CASE CLOSED,” and  fabricating evidence out of Xerox copies of our tiny hands and face and randomly scribbling with mechanical pencils.  We were a junior Sam Spade, a soft-boiled detective, solving the case of the missing ping-pong paddle with a Bachman’s pretzel rod dangling casually from our lips instead of a lean Marlboro, a tumbler of Pepsi with crushed ice instead of a stiff whiskey on the rocks.

And what does any of this have to do with Encyclopedia Brown? Read on for the solution…

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Filed under In Memoriam, Literarally, Mars Investigations, Nostalgia Corner

Our Favorite ‘Late Night’ A Capella Group Returns: Do it again, Rockafallon!

It’s really hard to pinpoint when we fully realized the genius of Late Night with Fallon, because there have been so many brilliant moments, like the California Dreams reunion, or the Muppets dropping by to sing “The 12 Days of Christmas”, or the visit from Zack Morris, or the Lost homage “Late,” or the Parks & Recreation-assisted Glee‘d version of “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”  It’s really been an incredible twelve months for Jimmy Fallon and his team, whom we’ve  praised over and over again, and plan to keep doing so.  But, for us, there was perhaps no greater pop-culture tribute than Late Night‘s very own incarnation of the a capella legends Rockapella, which they gifted us in March of this year.  Lost, Glee, even Saved by the Bell, those are rather obvious objects of affection.  But to channel something like Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?‘s house band, well that’s truly special, and perhaps more than anything else Late Night has done that showed the depth of their knowledge, humor, intelligence, and a disturbing awareness of references from our childhood that we will go crazy for.

And, just in time for the holiday season, they’ve done it again (this time with more Jason Segel!):

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Hats off, once again, gentleman.  Brava.

By the way, did you know that Rockapella founder Sean Altman auditioned for Season 1 of NBC’s The Sing-Off with his new a capella group the GrooveBarbers?  They didn’t make the cut.  Which somehow feels like if Marcel Marceau was rejected from a mime competition.  Must have been the name.  Oh, and it sorta sounds like he’s taking credit for the success of The Sing Off.  Sure, why not?

Jimmy, let’s get this guy on the show.

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Filed under Flashback!, Good Humor, Nostalgia Corner, Talkies

Nostaliga Corner: Do It, Rockafallon!

*Note: With Thursday nights requiring two DVRs and thus creating a logjam of Friday blog content, we’re going to, at least temporarily, move Nostalgia Corner to Tuesdays (as, save for Chuck, Monday is pretty much tumbleweeds).

Last night I watched some of Late Night “live,” which is something I don’t normally do, usually catching any buzzworthy bits online.  However, my eyelids soon grew heavy (Mondays, right?!) and flipped off the TV without witnessing Jimmy Fallon and the crew doing anything especially noteworthy, assuming there wouldn’t be any new Late Night gems on this occasion (okay, full disclosure, I watched a little Real Housewives of New York City, then turned in for the night).  Lo and behold, I wake up, log on and find out that I missed this:

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A brilliant piece of pop culture kitsch to parody, matched with the guts to repeat the same vocal beats over and over again, never saying a single actual word, stretching the gag until it wasn’t funny anymore and then keeping it going until it became funny again.  Good work, gumshoes (and I realize that’s not really an appropriate use for that distinction)!

And, to bring home the nostalgia part of this post: Do it, Rockapella!  Live in concert!

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Filed under Nostalgia Corner, Talkies