Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Big Picture: "Two Many Busters"

Learn the secret origin of one of 80s animation's biggest "WTF?" conundrums...

ALSO! I've got an article in this week's issue, profiling Hollywood filmmaker turned "Homefront" story-developer John Milius.


Tim said...

Meh. The 80s sucked.

Daniel R said...

Well that was... interesting.
I didn't even know about that other cartoon series. When I read the title I actually thought you would talk about the possibility of a Ghostbusters 3.
Any significant thoughts on it Bob?

That "F-Troop" series does sound hilarious.

Well that was about as substantial as you're "Other M still sucks" comments.

Anonymous said...

I remember being a kid and being REALLY pissed off when I saw one episode of that "wrong" cartoon.

To be honest, I actually was starting to wonder if I had imagined it, because none of my friends seemed to have seen it. Ever.

Tim, the 80's didn't suck in their entirety. I don't think any decade sucks in its entirety.

The 80's gave us "Ghostbusters", "Roxanne", "Clue", "Die Hard", "Babette's Feast"...maybe this is the wrong audience for that last one.

Bob, thanks for this post. I'm going to show it to my remaining childhood friends as proof that I was not nuts.

Curtis said...

I'm somewhat disapointed by this episode as this subject was covered extensively by CR of TGWTG fame back in October

regardless, nice to see your opinion on it I suppose, dear Bob

Smashmatt202 said...

As it just so happens, I know all about the Ghost Busters series, all through this video about the character, Tracy:


Tim said...

God dammit, people. God fucking dammit, I thought I was safe. I thought my birth had come at such a time that I would never have to deal with this bullshit, but noooooo. You just had to continue the pop-culture practice of glamorizing whatever people your age were doing twenty five years ago. You had to repeat your parents' mistakes.
For chrissake, this eighties revival shit needs to stop.
Honestly, you'd think people would learn from their mistakes. As recently as ten years ago, the 'me' decade was still considered a big fucking joke: a humiliating expanse of American geopolitical bumbling, cultural nihilism, shit fashion and worse pop music. Hell, the whole reason that most of the worthwhile musical movements of the past 30 years (hardcore punk, extreme metal, college/'indie' rock, grunge, underground hip-hop) even started was because mainstream music in the eighties was SO FUCKING BAD that all the sane, talented people were driven to create and perform on the fringe. Yet, contrary to all logic, all the same old poopy music styles are coming back into vogue.
• Cock rock/sleaze metal is back. What the fuck? Even fucking Weezer is digging into this long forgotten cache of pure musical failure now (listen to "Beverly Hills" and then tell me I'm wrong). This shit is what made heavy metal a laughingstock in the first place. If I had my way, Los Angeles and (somehow) all the influence it's ever had on rock and roll would magically fall into the Pacific Ocean and take The Darkness with it. Jane's Addiction can stay though.
• Cocaine is the cool kid drug again. This sucks. Drugs that you put up your nose turn you into a putz, without fail. I almost long for the days of grunge-fueled heroin chic. Almost.
• Eighties-informed fashion. If I see another day-glo hoodie, pair of tapered jeans, or girl wearing a huge shirt with spandex and gigantic bug sunglasses, I'm going to make that Killdozer guy look like a model citizen. This also applies to dudes wearing plaid shorts and visors and whatnot. I can't wait for a decade from now when all of these people look at old pictures of themselves and realize what assholes they were.
• The thrash revival. I actually love thrash but please dudes, if you can shred on your instrument then have a little ambition and don't settle for ripping off albums by guys who are now old enough to be your dad.
• etc.
In conclusion, please God or Mighty Lord Satan or whoever's nominally in charge, make it stop. End all the dance parties and make people start using their brains again. At least the inevitable 90s revival ten or fifteen years down the line won't be quite as humiliating.

Timothy said...

As much as I disagree with some of the things Tim has said unfortionatly I have to take his side mainly for one reason.

"The 90's sucked"

If I recall Bob has used that line over and over and over and over and to be blunt never truly has given a full explanation for why he thinks that unless I've missed it somewhere.

True Tim's line was equally as unexplained. By as a person who was born at the turn of the decade (1990) I am getting pretty sick of people telling me over and over and over again, that my decade sucked with no real reason ever truly given that can't be summed up as "It wasn't the decade I grew up in."

Hell if one looks at a lot of the Channel awesome videos it looks like the 80's was no exception to the legendary Sturgeon's Revelation. So will someone mind explaining this?

Bob said...


I'm not sure what needs explaining: Right now, the majority of web-video guys are in their 30s, so their nostalgiac for the 80s. Speaking only for myself, I was born in 81 so I technically "grew up" in BOTH decades. I tend to lean "team 80s" mostly because of that 82 to 89 "glory run" for genre movies, and also because I never liked Grunge Rock even when I was the EXACT right age and temperment for it.

When "90s kids" start holding more sway over this particular medium, they'll make their videos. Actually... isn't Linkara actually a bit younger than most? I'm not certain, but he does seem to be on an ever-so-slightly different generational-wavelength than most other vloggers.

The only difference will be that "remember the 90s" videos will STILL be making a lot of reference to the 80s, because the 90s were a "reactive" decade (like the 60s) and A LOT of the popular-culture of the period can't be properly understood apart from the previous-generation style it was rebeling against - like how "Seinfeld" doesn't seem as fresh now that it bled into other sitcoms, or how the Grunge phenomenon only makes sense as a reaction against the Poison/Crue state of late-80s/early-90s rock.

Andy Warth said...

Thanks for helping me remember one of the best cartoons of my childhood Bob, it was a nice episode, as usual. I don't usually post here (mostly because I tend to stay away from troll/flame wars and you have some seriously nasty ones under your bridge) but I felt I had to thank you for this, and for introducing me to the Venture Bros. I am pretty much addicted to that now, and I wouldn't hesitate on calling that one of the best animated TV series ever made. Keep the good work sir.

smile said...

That was a great video. It goes to show the importance of hanging on to everything you make because you'd be surprised where (and when) you find an audience.

Matt said...


I kind of agree, the pop music was bland, the fashion was stupid looking, politically and socially, it was one of those decades that you'd think people would make fun of.


You could say a mixture of nostalgia and a love of cheesy pop culture keeps this lame 80s revival alive. People who lived them can't get past them. That, and the fact that most people in entertainment (internet and mainstream) are around the age where they would have experienced the 80s.

I think one of the major reasons why the 00s were almost 80s-lite was all because of one little event at the very beginning of the decade.


Now bear with me, I know it sounds horrible to say "death of 3000 people = lame cultural rewind", and that it sounds stupid to say that every time some woman wears leggings and enormous glasses that she's thinking of 9/11 (because she's not, obviously).

What I'm saying is that 9/11 was a social trauma to the American people and their culture. It showed that the US wasn't the untouchable superpower that they thought it was since the end of the Cold War, American influence wasn't enough to stop terrorists murdering thousands.

On a deep social level, American culture went back to an earlier, looser, more upbeat and superficial time to cope with that cultural trauma. Sure there was a (distant unlikely) threat of nuclear armageddon, but at least Americans knew their enemy, and knew it had unconditional friends among NATO.

john said...

@Daniel R: F-Troop is definitely worth a watch if you dig mid-'60s TV comedy like Get Smart. You can find collections in a lot of cheapo DVD bins. (Don't miss future Carol Burnett collaborator Ken Berry as the fort commander.)

counterpoint said...

i remember the "other ghostbusters" show.... never understood its existence, or knew anything about hte tv show it was based on.

now, the "real" GB, THAT I was a fan of. of course, I never understood the citizen kane reference(s) until much later. I must have watched the first film every two weeks from the age of 4 to 5.

Timothy said...


And that is why I enjoy your show so much. You certainly can explain your side.

Explanation makes sense, good enough for me. I also think it might have something to do with the fact that the mainstream culture is starting to throw out a lot of the 80's stuff, and we haven't quite "decided" what from the 90's is worth keeping.

You know, like how no one who I talk to that hates modern pop music remember the 1969 "Sugar Sugar" hit.

RocMegamanX said...


If I may, as for no one deciding what from the '90s is worth keeping?

What about:
The 16-bit video game war
The advent of the Sony Playstation(the first real CD-based console to actually become a hit)
The growing popularity of the World Wide Web(America Online ring a bell?)
The Stuffed Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut
Toy Story, the first all-CGI animated movie(and a BIG hit, I might add)
The Simpsons(The show's beginnings and peak were mainly in the 90s)
Schindler's List
Jurassic Park("but it's different from the book!", you say. I haven't read the book; I only remember the movie)

Just to name a few.

As far as current events or politics in the 1990s, I'm not sure, though the Gulf War and Bill Clinton as a pop-culture icon and as a president were important.

Timothy said...


I didn't say no one has decided or thought about it I just said we hadn't QUITE decided.

Maybe I suck at reading emotions in text but for some reason your post just feels 'red' to me (emotion of rage or anger).

Could you confirm or deny that so I can make a better reply? I feel I need more information before I can point-counterpoint, etc,etc.

RocMegamanX said...


I wasn't angry. I was just wondering people wouldn't have decided what was important to keep from the 1990s.