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    History Channel Department 

Peter Paltridge records the history of stuff.

    Interactive Entertainment Celebration Section 
Peter Paltridge muses about video games and video game memorabilia.

Things You Can't Ever Have

    People Section 

Peter Paltridge writes all about famous people

    Hollywoodland 
Peter Paltridge reviews movies and TV shows, and occasionally delves into obscure facets of screen history.

    Dark TV Vault 
Peter Paltridge reviews some short-lived TV shows and rare TV specials.

  • Bad "Bad Acting": In Peter's coverage of the Free Spirit Halloween special, he admits that his first article about the show didn't include any clips of the now-most famous cast member, Alyson Hannigan, because he didn't think she'd want people to see how unprofessionally she acted back then. However, since the Halloween special marks the only time the sitcom gave Hannigan's character A Day in the Limelight, he shares some footage of her anyway. Afterward, he tries to imitate her as best as he can through typing.
    "Winnie! This is GREAT!" You have to wonder at several points what kind of medication fog she was under.
  • Call-Back: In 2015, the site reviewed the 1988 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. During that parade, Willard Scott appeared at the end of the Rockettes' number. Peter responds to this by Photoshopping in the "Hi, Mom!" speech bubble that appeared at the end of the Rockettes' appearance in '81.
  • Crazy Awesome: invoked The Free Spirit review praises Magical Nanny/Blithe Spirit Winnie Goodwin's unwillingness to enforce limitations on her magical abilities.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1985":
    Another thing you're going to have to get used to is how....normal so many of these ads are. For the most part there are no sight gags, no cartoon antics, no adorable animals, no crotch shots and no bikini babes. Like I said, this was the beginning, and the formula for a Super Bowl ad was still forming in the womb. It would take a few years, but the Super Bowl would not see the likes of Andrea Giles, Sinus Sufferer again.
    • He points out a second example in the Super Bowl's halftime show:
    As for what halftime WAS, ho-boy. The current standard of using a popular musical act was not originally the case. Instead halftime shows would usually be handed to an ultra-dorky performance troupe called Up With People. That was still happening in 1985, and the theme this year was "The World Of Children's Dreams." It's such a radical contrast from what halftime would become that it's unbelievable. I'm not uploading it. You don't deserve that punishment.
  • '80s Hair: Peter takes time in his article about the Free Spirit Halloween special to admire Winnie's unruly hairstyle:
    I even loved her character design, which is an odd thing to say about a real person — but I'm referring to her bird's nest of a hairstyle, which is your only visual clue that something is off about her, but not enough to raise suspicion. And the thing is......given eighties fashion, I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. Winnie really picked the right era to hide on Earth in.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham:
  • Late to the Punchline: Peter confesses in his article about the Free Spirit episode "Blast From the Past" that he had to let the humor of the line, "I'll call you on the broom phone." sink in.
    And I thought, what a lame joke! He just took the word "phone" and added "broom" to it? .....then I realized, he meant "car phone." This was back when if you wanted to call somebody in a car, you had to own a phone fully installed into the car itself. This kind of thing was seen as a luxury for big businessmen — if you mentioned you had a car phone, everyone was instantly impressed, because it meant you were doing well. Winnie's dad must be living in a better house now than the one we saw in the flashback.
  • Name's the Same: invoked Peter points out in his review of the Free Spirit episode "Blast From the Past" that Winnie's fiancee, Kevin, has the same first name as the main character of The Wonder Years, who also had a Love Interest named Winnie.
    Did they name him Kevin to make a sly Wonder Years reference? It took me a long time to put the two names together and realize that.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: When discussing the Free Spirit Halloween special, the sight of Winnie using her witchcraft to perform stage magic prompts Peter to recount which comic marked the debut of Zatanna's father, Zatara the Magician ("...Action Comics #1, right after Superman."), since the two of them also used that shtick. He then offhandedly admits that he doesn't have a girlfriend yet.
  • Nominal Importance: In his coverage of Otherworld, Smith, the youngest of the Sterling family, matters so little to the show that Peter doesn't even bother bringing up his name, instead urging the readers to "forget about him because he won't be mentioned again".
  • Product Displacement: Discussed in "Blast From the Past", after Peter points out a R-Type arcade cabinet with its logo altered to read, R-TY.
    I love how putting electrical tape over one letter in a logo effectively dodges copyright.
  • Rule 34: In "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1985":
    The McDonalds ad in this break is the closest it comes [to the grandiose/"wacky" nature of Super Bowl ads]. They apparently had some BIG furries in their ad department. Having uploaded this, I expect to see a few dozen drawings on Chad Rocco's Deviantart next week of the fox-women, both sporting GIGANTIC butts.
  • Seasonal Rot: invoked Referenced in the first Free Spirit article, saying the disappearance of the show without giving any closure robs us of "The really weak final season after Winnie and Thomas have gotten married, Alyson Hannigan has left the series, and an annoying little child has been adopted".
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: invoked Peter admits in the "Super Bowl Past-Blast" articles that the special effects in such ads as this 1992 Exxon Supreme commercial and this 1985 canned foods promo might seem less revolutionary today than when they first aired.
  • Special Effect Failure: invoked "Platypus Comix Covers The 1981 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!" includes footage of two Days of Our Lives cast members botching a lip-synced musical performance. It also includes a picture of somebody walking into a shot where he shouldn't be, revealing Strawberry Shortcake (who was supposedly interacting with Ed McMahon) to be nothing more than superimposed footage.
  • Spiritual Successor: Peter writes some for X-Entertainment's recaps of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, starting with a 2011 article about the 1980 parade.
  • Super Bowl Special: Peter explains in "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1994" that he watches the Super Bowl live mostly to watch all of the commercials, and eventually decided to write annual articles covering ads shown during a past game.
  • Tainted by the Preview: invoked Peter recalls in "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1985" that after Apple's "1984" ad became instantly iconic, Apple spent weeks hyping up their next Super Bowl commercial, which viewers had to wait until the very last break to see. Unforutnately, the commercial, a Macintosh Office promo titled, "Lemmings", didn't leave a positive impact on viewers, apparently mostly because of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
    It's creepy and terrible!

    After letting so many competitors' baseballs whiz past them while uttering "That's not my style," Apple thought they could nail this with one blow — and Mighty Casey has struck out. It's mainly due to a complete misinterpretation of why the first ad worked. "1984" was dark because the book it was based on was. But it was also grand and epic and got your adrenaline going — plus, it told a complete story by only showing a portion of it. "Lemmings" does none of those things.
  • Take Our Word for It: "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1985", Peter explains that while the Super Bowl Half-Time Shows of recent years typically consist of performances by popular musical acts, earlier on they instead have performance troupes that appealed to children, usually Up With People. For 1985, the performance was "The World Of Children's Dreams" by the United States Air Forcenote . Peter then left it at that.
    I'm not uploading it. You don't deserve that punishment.
  • Take That, Audience!:
    • Originally, reading the Free Spirit review on Internet Explorer caused this message to pop up in spots where readers with different browsers would find HTML5-encoded clips:
      If you're reading this instead of seeing a video, why are you still using Internet Explorer?
      • The message disappeared after Peter allowed readers to choose whether to use HTML5 or Adobe Flash to watch the clips.
    • "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1994 begins with Peter calling his readers, "an audience of geeks," for not expressing excitement for the Super Bowl.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: invoked In "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1985", Peter comments that the practical special effects of this Hyatt commercial, about a Hyatt Hotel IN SPACE, have aged pretty well, even after 31 years. This is especially notable when compared to a CGI commercial from the Canned Food Information Council, which he points out was actually the most talked-about of the ads at the time despite having not aged as well in comparison.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Peter reveals at the end of his critique of an early draft of the Free Spirit pilot that he finally found the Missing Episode "Love and Death" on YouTube, and downloaded it to his computer. However, he also admits refusing to watch it right away.
    Here's the thing....I once thought I had burned through every second of Free Spirit footage there was. I had no reason to think there were any more than 13 episodes, because there usually isn't. Then, miraculously, more of it showed up. Now if I watch it, that's really and truly all there is. I've been given a second chance, and it feels more poetic to just bottle that wish and preserve it for later. So I saved Episode 14 to my hard drive, and whenever I decide to view it, I'll let you know.
  • What Were They Selling Again?: Peter comments in "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1994" that he only remembers an ad for the 1994 Isuzu Rodeo just for the "Gut-Be-Gone" the man in the commercial recieves for his birthday.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Each YouTube upload in "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1985" abbreviates the game's name as, "SB". Peter admits that the NFL's trademark of the full name prevented him from spelling it out.
  • Zeerust: Regarding an ad in "The 1980 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" for Bell Laboratories:
    We're then shown a glimpse of the future, in which a woman hits some keys on a giant computer board and two monitors display simple data graphs. In her own home??? It'll never happen. I mean, it still hasn't....

The Island of Misfit Christmas Specials

See Blog.The Island Of Misfit Christmas Specials
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    Stupid Kid Show Area 
Peter Paltridge helps you learn about the past of children's pop culture, mostly cartoons from the 1980s and '90s.

Kids' WB Yourself!

The Full Experience

  • Actually Pretty Funny: The Jabberjaw review makes the series seem dull and unoriginal, until Jabberjaw tries to distract a villain by donning a Paper Thin Disguise of an exotic dancer.
  • Catchphrase: Ever since the third installment, Peter has begun each article by putting the show into historic context, then pointing out today, one could enjoy the episodes on DVD. Then, he segues into the rest of the article with, "That's all well and good. But it's not the FULL EXPERIENCE..." He doesn't use this phrase when reviewing shows that don't have comprehensive DVDs available.
  • Clueless Aesop: The Beetlejuice article includes a PSA in which the stars of Perfect Strangers attempt to teach kids not to feel bad if they don't meet society's standards of physical attractiveness. Peter admits this PSA, in which Larry consoles Balki over having a more crooked nose than Bruce Willis, loses its effectiveness for viewers who believe Balki's actor found less box office success than Willis because of his failure to meet those standards.
    Hope you learned something, kids. Just don't question the fact that Bronson Pinchot was available for the lead role in Die Hard yet never got the call.
  • Dada Ad: The 4Kids' One Piece article refers to a Burger King commercial with some abstract shapes for mascots as, "this strange fever dream of an ad".
  • Don't Explain the Joke: When Peter reviews the second episode 4Kids Entertainment aired of One Piece, he laments that their version of the script spends so much time explaining why Luffy fought Coby in front of the Marines/Navy, the scene no longer seemed like a joke.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The series consists of reviews of the first episodes of Saturday morning cartoons from the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, accompanied by videos of some of the commercials and bumpers that played during the cartoon's premiere. The first article recaps the day Pokémon began airing on Kids' WB!, but Peter decided not to review the episodenote  because the series seemed Strictly Formula. Also note that article has three pages, while others (such as the Beetlejuice review) only have one. For even more weirdness, the original version of the Pokémon installment only had one video. The rest of the commercials simply got written descriptions and pictures.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: invoked Peter has confessed that for him, Beetlejuice begins and ends with the cartoon. He didn't see the movie Beetlejuice until after he saw the show. When he did, he felt disappointed that, among other things, Beetlejuice was a seldom-appearing villain instead of the star, and that he and Lydia were enemies instead of friends.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Peter begins the installment about The Spooktacular New Adventures of Caspernote  by calling Casper the Friendly Ghost unfunny and uninteresting. Consequently, he avoided watching this show, until he learned that it shared two writers with Animaniacs: Sheri Stoner and Deanna Oliver. He ended up calling the episodes he saw of Spooktacular New Adventures the funniest and least boring Casper cartoons he ever saw.
  • Late to the Punchline: Peter admits in the Beetlejuice review that he didn't notice Beetlejuice and Lydia blowing snakes instead of noisemakers until after he took a screenshot of the scene.
  • Misaimed Marketing: invoked Peter closes the Animaniacs article by wondering why his local Fox Kids station showed a commercial for a wine-tasting event during each episode from the first season.
  • Needs More Love: invoked The 4Kids' One Piece installment argues that the uncut version of the anime deserves a larger American fanbase than it had at the time of the article's posting.
  • Oddball in the Series: The second installment, covering the premiere of The Pink Panther Show, was written on Peter's Toon Zone blog instead of at his website. Unfortunately, this inadvertently led to the videos ceasing to work after a site update.
  • Take That!:
    • From the page about Animaniacs:
    Those cheesy Power Rangers could go jump in a lake; Animaniacs was 1993 to me.
    • invokedThe first section of the second page of the Pokémon Full Experience suggests that Peter does not think very highly of the Spyro the Dragon games, claiming that they they were made "before [Insomniac Games] learned how to make games" and brushing Spyro himself off as just another "mascot with attitude" that tried to out-Sonic Sonic and fell into obscurity like all the other ones. (Ironically, Spyro would make two separate returns, to much rejoicing and critical acclaim, only a few years after the article was published.)
  • Tempting Fate: The 4Kids' One Piece article laments that when fans of the anime tried to predict or joke about changes 4Kids would make when importing the show to America, some of those predictions and jokes actually proved accurate.
    They figured Sanji's cigarette would be reinterpreted as a lollipop, and the prediction came 100% true. "They'll probably make the opening sequence into a rap," they said sarcastically. And that is exactly what 4Kids did. Must've been taking notes.

    Educational Rockin' Fun Zone 
Peter Paltridge educates on subjects not covered in school.

    Surfin' The Web Section 
Peter Paltridge gives a sample of what he does on the Internet aside from making comics and articles.

    Psychiatry Zone 

    Things To Do When You're Bored Division/The Ancient Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising 
Peter Paltridge has gathered a random selection of things to do when you're bored.

The Ancient Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising

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    The Section Only I Will Care About Reading 
Peter Paltridge will share a few details about his life, his interests, and Platypus Comix history to those who care.

    Thing Where The Totally Rad Videos Go 
Peter Paltridge posts some rare and interesting videos, including plenty of music videos.

    Bloom County County 
Before the publication of the book series The Bloom County Library, Peter Paltridge took it upon himself to keep his favorite newspaper comic available to enjoy.

See also Bloom County

    Interviews! 

    Lair of Alternate Projects/For Portlanders Only 
Peter Paltridge takes you to see his other endeavors. The biggest is For Portlanders Only, a selection of advertisements, newspaper scans, and other emphemera pertaining to his hometown of Portland, Oregon.

For Portlanders Only

What Powell's Throws Out

  • Accidental Innuendo: invokedIn Part Six, Peter shows a SpongeBob SquarePants story from an anthology book written by first graders:
    Book: "This party is cool. I like Sponge Bob's party. I like Sponge Bob's juice," said Patrick.
    Peter: Any other website would have leapt at the chance to point out what Patrick said, but I don't work blue.
  • Continuity Lockout:invoked He experiences this in Part Six with ElfQuest, saying that his troubles with fantasy tropes as a whole (elaborated below) prevent him from understanding a single sentence of the work.
  • Fan Disillusionment: Part Two expresses his disllusionment with reading as a whole:
    When I was a small kid, I read books all the time. I would go to the library about every other day, come out with several juvenile fiction tomes, and read each one within an hour. I read a book about a kid who has to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days for $50. The writing was pure off-the-wall anarchy, and I loved it (read it again, it's even better when you're grown up). I read a book about a school that is thirty stories tall and full of weird kids, clever wordplay and living dead rats — it's still my favorite book of all time. I read a book about a kid with unusual talents who united a racially divided town and spent a summer with a poor old illiterate man. It was better than chocolate. But as I got older, books aimed at my age level started getting less imaginative, less humorous, and less fun.[…]Reading books became a chore, not an enjoyment. And when I finally graduated and had the free will to stop, I quit 'em cold turkey. These days, I look at the rack of books for adults and feel massive boredom. They take themselves too seriously, are way way more wordy than they need to be, and are sorted by machine. If you want a crime drama, you go to the Crime Drama section and pick from 6,500 Crime Dramas with very similar covers and very similar plots. If you want a Murder Mystery Starring a Psychic Dwarf, you go to the Psychic Dwarf Murder Mysteries Section and choose from 7,352 of those. It feels so...cold.
  • Faux Horrific: When discussing From a Buick 8 in Part Two:
    The truth is, not everything Stephen writes is intended to be scary and this is one of his 'others.' It's just dressed up by the publisher to fool you into believing it's the next Shining, at least until you've paid for it.
  • Mind Screw: Peter declares Wezens die je toch nooit zietnote  from Part Four "The Weirdest Book of All Time".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Peter's disgust in Part Six with the drawing style of some 2004 Cricket comics makes him (and King Leonidas from 300) exclaim, "This! Is! Zoot!"
  • Sincerity Mode: In a part that we won't link to from here, Peter admits that he recently bought a Webcomic Print Collection, but didn't find it funny at all. However, he refuses to refer to the comic or its author by name, to lessen the chances of him getting his feelings hurt.
  • Strictly Formula: From Part Six:
    Through the thousands of books I've now sorted, I've noticed a popular trend among the fiction variety. Most mass paperback novels I've run across have the following things in common: 1) They're part of a series (even though I never find any other book in said "series"); 2) They have a female protagonist; 3) Said female protagonist is a massive Mary Sueinvoked with an attitude who wields weapons, fires off karate kicks, and has every lead male fall for her instantly; 3) They contain supernatural elements, usually garden-variety cliches dressed up by calling them different names. For example, if there are fairies, they won't call them fairies, they'll call them "Fae." At the very least, they'll spell "magic" with a K; 4) They all (without exception, they ALL) have a subtitle like "A Kit Gunwielder Mystery!" or "A Sasha Spunkmeyer Adventure!"
  • Take That!: In Part One, he boasts that he could find a way to make a FernGully: The Last Rainforest book seem marketable in 2010. Cue a crude alteration of the cover to include Avatar characters.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:invoked In Part Two, he mentions how he dislikes fantasy novels because "they often get so bogged down in their own world they forget how to relate to the real one, where I am, trying to understand it." He points out that Worldweavers: Spellspam actually has a good premise (about e-mail spam that has magical powers), but a third of the way through, it gets bogged down in the fantasy tropes that he hates so much.

    "Other People's Cartoons" Area/Worst Comix Ever! 
Peter Paltridge shares his favorite and least favorite comic strips and comic books.

Worst Comix Ever!


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