Today on the tray: Spinach

spinachMarch 26 is National Spinach Day.

According to the BBC, “Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin. By the 12th century, it spread across Europe and became a desirable leafy green known for good health; a reputation that stands firm to this day.”

Popeye with spinachOf course, we all know that spinach is the food that gave Popeye the Sailor his temporary superhuman strength. This site and others say the selection of spinach as Popeye’s superfood was based on popular misinformation about its iron content, which was the result of a a 19th century German chemist misplacing a decimal point. Ha! But then this article claims to debunk that myth. So who knows?

Here’s a typical Popeye-eats-his-spinach clip:

I’m strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!

Today on the tray: Chips and dip

chips and dipMarch 23 is National Chip and Dip Day.

Are you a double dipper like Seinfeld’s George Costanza? Do you stick the chip back in the bowl of dip after it’s already been in your mouth?

Though I don’t condone double dipping, I think the guy who confronts George in this video clip is out of line. There was no reason to get all aggressive like that. He should have just whispered about George behind his back and warned the other guests to dip at their own risk.

Clip from “The Implant,” Seinfeld (Feb. 25,1993)

Born on this date: William Shatner

shatnerWilliam Shatner turns 84 today (March 22, 2015). Shatner, of course, is most often associated with his role as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk.

One of his other famous roles is in this classic Twilight Zone episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” in which he plays an anxious traveler who thinks he sees a gremlin tampering with the wing of a plane. Watch the 2-minute version right here.

The Twilight Zone, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (1963)

The episode has often been parodied. For example, The Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror IV” Halloween episode features the segment “Nightmare at 5 1/2 Feet,” in which Bart sees a gremlin on the side of the school bus. In the movie Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig believes she sees a Colonial woman churning butter on the wing of a plane.

Personally, I’m more afraid of birds hitting my plane than I am of gremlins, but that’s just me.

Today on the tray: Hot stuff! Beef ravioli

March 20 is National Ravioli Day.

Why get ravioli in an expensive Italian restaurant when you can get it in a can?

Below, in this 1980s commercial, disco invades the world of canned pasta as kids sing a Chef Boyardee version of Donna Summer’s hit “Hot Stuff.” They may be too young to get into Studio 54, but they can eat canned beef ravioli! That’s a pretty good consolation.

I tried to think of other Donna Summer songs that could be used to sell canned pasta but came up short. Unless you consider eating it to be a punishment—then you could use “Bad Girls.”

1980s Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli/Beefaroni commercial

I don’t want a sandwich—there’s no use trying
No cold or boring lunches for me
Give me something yummy and satisfying
Something good from Chef Boyardee!

Looking for some hot stuff—beef ravioli!
Cause it’s made with good stuff—Beefaroni!

Gotta have some good stuff, hot stuff, from Chef Boyardee
I want hot stuff!

By the way, the kid who doesn’t want a “cold or boring” lunch is Candace Cameron from Full House.

Today on the tray: The Oatmeal Cookie Diet

oatmeal cookiesMarch 18 is National Oatmeal Cookie Day.

Did you know that oatmeal cookies are “especially good as a dessert for athletes and for men and women on weight control diets”? So claims this 1959 Quaker ad. I don’t know about you, but I’m going on the Quaker Oatmeal Cookie Diet right away. Ha! Screw those salads! In your face, Jenny Craig!

Quaker oatmeal cookie ad (1959)

Do you know that a glass of milk and three oatmeal cookies provide from twenty to twenty-five percent of the protein you need every day?

So it’s a good idea to keep your cookie jar filled with popular oatmeal cookies. They’re wonderful for dessert and snacks anytime.

In fact, because of the protein in oatmeal cookies, they’re especially good as a dessert for athletes and for men and women on weight control diets.

A bewitching pair of leprechauns

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of this day, I present to you two leprechauns from Bewitched.

Samantha and the leprechaun

Elizabeth Montgomery and Henry Jones as Samantha Stephens and the leprechaun Brian O’Brien

The first one is from an episode titled “The Leprechaun,” which was first broadcast on St. Patrick’s Day in 1966. The leprechaun, named Brian O’Brien, is played by Henry Jones, who was terrific in character roles in The Bad Seed, Vertigo, and lots of other films and TV shows. He also played Phyllis’s step-father-in-law on Phyllis. Anyway, Brian O’Brien has lost his pot of gold. Naturally, it turns out that it must be recovered from one of Darrin #1’s clients.

Darrin #2 also got a leprechaun episode. In the 1970 episode, “If the Shoe Pinches,” Laugh-In’s Henry Gibson plays a leprechaun named Tim O’Shanter, sent by Endora to screw with Darrin. The leprechaun does this by giving Darrin some enchanted shoes. In this clip, Tim O’Shanter rats out Endora under threat of being turned into a toad.

Clip from “If the Shoe Pinches,” Bewitched (March 26, 1970)

Born on this date: Alan Hale Jr.

Alan Hale Jr.Alan Hale Jr. as The Skipper, who played the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, was born March 8, 1921. He died in 1990.

The Skipper’s seldom-mentioned name was Jonas Grumby. Below see Hale as the Skipper as Polonius performing “Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be” in a musical production of Hamlet staged by the castaways. (That’s Mary Ann in boy drag as Laertes.)

Clip from Gilligan’s Island, “The Producer” (Oct. 3, 1966)

Today on the tray: Cold cuts

March 3 is National Cold Cuts Day.

I can’t imagine that anyone doesn’t know what a cold cut is, but just in case, here’s Wikipedia to the rescue:

Oscar Mayer bolognaCold cuts—also known as lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, and deli meats—are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and served cold or hot on sandwiches or on party trays. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter, where they might be sliced to order.

Hey, remember that kid whose bologna had a first name and a second name? And he even knew how to spell it? Well here he is:

Oscar Mayer bologna commercial (1973)

Do you wonder what that kid is doing now? His name is Andy Lambros, and he’s “a web and graphic designer, developer, marketing expert and business consultant.” Here is his website. Not only can you see what Andy looks like today, you can also watch a video of Oscar Mayer’s former VP of marketing telling the story behind the famous commercial.

Today on the tray: Banana cream pie

Today is National Banana Cream Pie Day.

banana cream pie“Mmmm… banana cream pie,” begins the voiceover in this vintage commercial for PET Milk. “A very special dessert. Smooth, tempting, delicious… and quick and easy to make with double-rich PET — handiest milk you can get!”

Get the recipe by sending a postcard to the PET Milk Co., assuming the offer from 1958 is still good.

PET Milk commercial featuring banana cream pie (1958)

In memory of Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy as "Oontah" on Daniel Boone

Leonard Nimoy as “Oontah” on Daniel Boone (1966)

Leonard Nimoy, known the world over for his portrayal of Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock, died yesterday at age 83.

A glance at his IMDb profile shows he appeared in a great many TV shows. Did you know that he was the voice of the Zarn on Land of the Lost? Or that he played Oontah, an American Indian in an episode of Daniel Boone?

Nimoy published two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock, and its sequel, I Am Spock. Dude, make up your mind.  Sorry, no disrespect intended.

Since Star Trek photos and videos can be found all over the Web, I’m posting something else. In this clip from 1967, the multi-talented Nimoy performs “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins,” backed by dancing ’60s chicks. The women are wearing hobbit ears that look suspiciously like Vulcan ears, while Nimoy’s ears are human. I don’t know what to make of that. And they are wearing protest buttons that say things like “Hobbits Unite.”

Leonard Nimoy performs “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” on Malibu U (July 28, 1967)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers

%d bloggers like this: