From Bad Santas to Callous Millionaires – My Top 10 Xmas Movies

Dan Aykroyd at the mercy of his two callous millionaire Uncles in “Trading Places”

Updated

by Shannonn Kelly
02:19AM, EST December 24, 2013

After reviewing my list from last year, I decided to make a couple of changes as I now have had a change of heart.

Two films not mentioned that are runners up would be: “White Christmas” (1954) starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence(1983) a UK, Japanese co-production starring David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Takeshi Kitano.

As an avid Holiday movie fan, I think I’ve got a few selections that may surprise some people as part of my Top 10 Christmas Movies. Especially, since many people who know me, know who my all-time favorite actor is: James Maitland Stewart. Continue reading “From Bad Santas to Callous Millionaires – My Top 10 Xmas Movies”

Walter White Shoots Modern Family

by Shannonn Kelly
11:14 AM, EST, December 11, 2013

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“Ho Ho Heisenberg” – Actor Eric Stonestreet with Director, Bryan Cranston on Set of the Modern Family Christmas Episode

I thought that headline would get your attention.

Don’t forget to tune in tonight to Modern Family on ABC to watch the Christmas episode directed by Bryan Cranston. It’s sure to deliver a lot of Ho-Ho-Ho’s for the Holiday with hopefully a little darkness like the video here uploaded by Jesse Tyler Ferguson who plays “Mitch” on Modern Family. Continue reading “Walter White Shoots Modern Family”

‘Tis the Season of ‘Peanuts Creator’ Charles M. Schulz

Peanuts creator, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz
Peanuts creator, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz

by Shannonn Kelly
09:12AM, EST, November 26, 2013

There’s something very special about waking up and realizing it would have been the 91st birthday of Charles M. Schulz. From October to December, it’s really, the Season of Charles Schulz, the cartoonist who created warm and funny scenarios to take us through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with his “Peanuts Gang”, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and my personal favorite “Pig Pen”.

I wrote a blog last year which you can read here, so I wondered what should I write this year..?

I enjoyed writing my 2012 blog, and I really researched it a lot. In my mind, nothing could really top it. But then I read the Huffington post this morning and I thought, okay, here’s another angle. But then I read that they too, revisited their blog from last year and tweaked it for this year.

So with permission, I’m re-posting their article below. I just don’t know who it’s written by because I’d like to give them their props in my blog.

I hope you read my blog from 2012 right here. I’d love to know what’s your favorite Charlie Brown special? Who’s your favorite Peanuts character? Please leave me a comment and enjoy your day!

Re-posted with Permission from Huffington Post

Today is the birthday of American cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz, that beloved “Peanuts” creator who would turn 91 years old if he were still alive today.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz is remembered most fondly for the wholesome characters he created throughout his 50-year-long illustration career. Among them are the eternally hesitant Charlie Brown and the mischievous Snoopy, two characters who came to represent the iconic four-panel gag strip known as “Peanuts.” Schulz devoted much of his life to the American comic standard, which ran up until the day after his death in 2000.

In honor of the 91st anniversary of Schulz’s birth, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the man behind the cartoon, so we’ve put together 20 facts you might not have known about the great American artist. Behold, the quirks of a “Peanuts” legend:

1. The man, Charles Schulz, and the comic character, Charlie Brown, are pretty similar.

charles schulz

Schulz’s father was a barber and his mother a housewife, just like Charlie Brown’s parents. Plus, as the youngest in his class at Central High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Schulz was famously shy.
2. Schulz’s childhood nickname was based on a comic strip.

charles schulz

Schulz’s childhood nickname, Sparky, was given to him by his uncle and refers to the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck’s comic strip, “Barney Google.”
3. Schulz had his own unusual dog named Spike.

When Schulz was a young boy, he submitted a picture of his dog, Spike, to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! His drawing appeared in Robert Ripley’s syndicated panel, describing Spike as an usual dog who ate pins, tacks and razor blades.
4. Schulz served in WWII but never fired his weapon.

charles schulz

In 1943, Schulz was drafted into the United States Army where he served as a staff sergeant with the 20th Armored Division in Europe. During his service as a squad leader on a .50 caliber machine gun team, his unit saw very little combat, and Schulz later explained that during the only opportunity to fire his machine gun he discovered that he had actually forgotten to load it.
5. Schulz debuted his two most famous characters in a comic strip known as “Li’l Folks.”

charles schulz

The name of Schulz’s most famous character — Charlie Brown — first appeared in an earlier cartoon written by the Peanuts creator titled “Li’l Folks”, which was published from 1947 to 1950. That same series also featured a dog that resembled Snoopy.
6. Schulz didn’t actually name “Peanuts.”

In 1950, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with his comic strip Li’l Folks. The syndication company accepted Schulz work but decided that the name “Li’l Folks” was too close to the names of two other comics of the time: Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” and a strip titled “Little Folks.” So, to avoid confusion, United Feature Syndicate settled on the name “Peanuts” after the peanut gallery featured in the “Howdy Doody” TV show. In the end, Schulz did not name his famous work.
7. And he hated the name.

charlie brown christmas

Schulz always disliked the title of his famous comic strip, “Peanuts”. In a 1987 interview, Schulz said of the name: “It’s totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity — and I think my humor has dignity.”
8. Schulz wanted to call Snoopy “Sniffy.”

charles schulz

Schulz was originally going to call his star dog character “Sniffy”, that is until he discovered that name had already been used in a different comic strip. So the cartoonist changed it to “Snoopy” after remembering that his late mother Dena Schulz told the family that if they were ever to acquire a third dog, it should be called Snoopy, an affectionate term in Norwegian. (The word is “Snuppa”.)
9. And Schulz wanted Snoopy to be entirely silent.

snoopy

Schulz originally imagined Snoopy as a silent character. It was only after two years of the comic that Snoopy verbalized his thoughts to readers in a thought balloon in 1952.
10. Schulz named many of the other “Peanuts” characters after his friends.

charles schulz

Linus and Shermy, prominent characters in the Peanuts comic strip, were named for good friends of Schulz, Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler.
11. Relatives served as inspiration too.

peanuts comic

The character of Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of Schulz’s cousins on his mother’s side. Schulz came up with the full name when he saw peppermint candies in his house.
12. And ex-girlfriends.

The character of the Little Red-Haired Girl (Charlie Brown’s love interest in “Peanuts”) was based on a woman in Schulz’s life named Donna Mae Johnson. She was an Art Instruction Inc. accountant with whom the cartoonist had a relationship, but when he proposed to her, she turned him down.
13. Schulz was adamant about “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

charlie brown christmas

For “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, network executives were hesitant about a scene involving Linus reciting the story of Christ’s birth. But in a documentary about the making of the program, Charles Schulz states, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?” And so the scene remained. Schulz also felt strongly about the absence of a laugh track in the televised cartoon, maintaining that the audience should be able to enjoy the show at their own pace, without being cued when to laugh. CBS created a version with a laugh track, but that version never aired.
15. Schulz was an avid hockey fan.

hockey charles schulz

Schulz was an avid hockey fan. In 1998, he hosted the first Over 75 Hockey Tournament and in 2001, the city of Saint Paul, MN renamed the Highland Park Ice Arena the Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in his honor.
16. Schulz loved the Space Program.

charles schulz space

Schulz was also a huge proponent of the space program, so much so that the 1969 Apollo 10 command module was named Charlie Brown and a lunar module was named Snoopy.
17. Schulz was pals with Reagan.

ronald reagan

Ronald Reagan once wrote a fan note to Schulz saying that the president identified with Charlie Brown.
18. Schulz really wanted Charlie Brown to kick the football.

When Schulz was asked if Charlie Brown would finally get to kick the football in the final “Peanuts” strip, his response was: “Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn’t have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century.” But in a December 1999 interview, Schulz recounted the moment when he signed the final comic panel, stating, “All of a sudden I thought, ‘You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick — he never had a chance to kick the football!’”
18. Schulz was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

peanuts met life ice

Schulz was posthumously inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007.
19. Schulz was published in 75 countries.

peanuts comic

At its height, Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was published in 75 countries, in 21 different languages.
20. Schulz created one of the longest stories ever told by one human being.

peanuts comic

According to Robert Thompson of Syracuse University, Schulz created “arguably the longest story ever told by one human being”. In total, Schulz produced 17,897 published strips from 1950 to 2000, with reruns continuing after.

In honor of Charles Schulz birthday, we are revisiting a post originally published last year honoring the artist’s life and work.

 

 

Valentine’s – Schmalentine’s – My Top 15 Anti-Valentine’s Day Movies

Top 15 Anti-Valentine's Day Films
Top 15 Anti-Valentine’s Day Films

by Shannonn Kelly
05:43AM, ET, February 13, 2013

When I was dating, I made it a point NOT to celebrate Valentine’s Day with any guy that I wasn’t really interested in. Unlike my girlfriends, who “never met a meal they didn’t like”, I didn’t want to see myself in pictures celebrating holidays with guys who possibly I’d later hate after possibly a nasty break-up.

I know. It sounds weird. But that’s just what my thought process was at the time. However, I did always celebrate Valentine’s Day on my own terms. I used it as a day to pamper myself. I always took the day off work or school. A month or so prior I would book either a facial or a mani/pedi, then I’d go to the liquor store and get a small bottle of Bailey’s, go to my favorite bakery for some treats and sneak all that in with me to enjoy a day of movies in a Cineplex until late at night. About 4 or 5 movies one right after the other. I was in heaven and always had the best day off ever!

So, in the spirit of NOT celebrating Valentine’s Day with all the soapy commercialism, here’s an alphabetical list of my Top 15 Anti-Valentine’s Day Movies. Enjoy with the most decadent treat you can buy for yourself. And DO NOT Share ☺ Continue reading “Valentine’s – Schmalentine’s – My Top 15 Anti-Valentine’s Day Movies”