Sunday, April 23, 2017

Motor City Comic Con presents another '80s extravaganza

Oh, we are so ready to roll on this year's Motor City Comic Con! The show always delivers some great stars of classic TV, after all. This year, we've got Barbara Eden, whom we know from "Dallas"; along with Herb Jefferson Jr., whom we know from a "Dukes of Hazzard" episode; Amy Jo Johnson, the Pink Ranger from "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"; Wil Wheaton of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Lou Ferrigno of "The Incredible Hulk." Here's this year's press release with all the great guests that matter ...


Motor City Comic Con 2017 Goes “Totally Tubular” as 80’s Pop Culture Stars will be featured at Michigan’s #1 Pop Culture Event; More than 300 comic, TV and film stars from The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Incredible Hulk, Guardians of the Galaxy, WWE and more to appear

Headliners include Ron Perlman, Michael Rooker, Rob Schneider, Lou Ferrigno, STING, Wil Wheaton, Sean Astin, Kelly Le Brock, Anthony Michael Hall, and many more
Tickets on sale for the May 19, 20 and 21 Comic Con at Suburban Collection Showplace

Novi, MI – Bring your leg warmers and mullet hair – Motor City Comic Con is bringing back the stars from the 1980’s TV, film and comics, along with some of your current pop culture favorites. The excitement is building as Motor City Comic Con 2017 is announcing a new cast of comic and media guests for its 28th annual, three-day event and has opened ticket sales online. The weekend will feature stars from popular television series and films like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, The Incredible Hulk, Saturday Night Live, I Dream of Jeannie and many more current TV shows and films like, Guardians of the Galaxy, Arrow, The Walking Dead, Gotham, Lord of the Rings, Sons of Anarchy, WWE, and much more. Comic writers and artists include Dave Gibbons, Andy Lanning, Allen Bellman, and many others. Motor City Comic Con 2017 will take place Friday, May 19 (12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.), Saturday, May 20 (10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, May 21 (10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Suburban Collection Showplace, located at 46100 Grand River Avenue in Novi. Complete information about the event, tickets, panels and VIP passes is available at

The weekend event features more than 300 creators, writers, illustrators and actors who will greet the fans, sign autographs, take pictures, and provide panels and Q & A discussions, while many super fans are dressed in their pop culture best. A popular event is Saturday’s cosplay contest where a mix of celebrity judges determine the best costume winners, presenting prizes and gift packages. Motor City Comic Con’s annual Saturday night bash celebrates comic con weekend with entertainment, refreshments, and light hors devours for the public. Sunday is Kid’s Day featuring kid-friendly activities.

Here is a sampling of some of this year’s Motor City Comic Con media and comic guests:

Allen Bellman: Began his career in comics as a teenager when he drew backgrounds for Captain America in 1942 and eventually worked on titles including: The Patriot, The Destroyer, The Human Torch, Marvel’s Young Allies, Jap Buster Johnson and Jet Dixon of the Space Squadron, and many more.

Amy Jo Johnson: A film maker, musician and actor most known for her role as Kimberly Hart in the series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Julie Emrick on the series Felicity, and Jules Callaghan on the award-winning series Flashpoint. Johnson recently launched her debut feature film The Space Between.

Anthony Michael Hall: Known for his roles as Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles and Brian Johnson in The Breakfast Club, Hall went on to become the youngest cast member in history on Saturday Night Live.

Barbara Eden: Named one of America’s 200 Greatest Pop Icons of the 20th Century, Eden is best known for her role as Jeannie on NBC’s I Dream of Jeannie television series which ran for five seasons. Eden’s memoir Jeannie Out of The Bottle was recently published and debuted as No. 14 on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Big Van Vader: Known for his early wrestling career in Japan, Big Van Vader went on to also beat competitors throughout Europe and Mexico and eventually, leading him to three World Heavyweight Championships. Following his WWE career, Big Van Vader returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling to form a tag team with Stan Hansen.

Dave Gibbons: A British comic book drawer and writer who has worked with comic publishers around the world. Some of his work includes: Doctor Who, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Predator and Aliens.

Herbert Jefferson Jr.: An American film, television and stage actor best known for his role as Lieutenant Boomer on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. Jefferson also appeared as Roy Dwyer in Rich Man, Poor Man and its sequel Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, Maxwell Fall in Emmy Award winning series The Law, Muntzy in Knight Rider (1982), among others.

Ilan Mitchell Smith: An American academic and former actor best known as the co-star in Weird Science, Smith has also appeared in The Wild Life, The Chocolate War and Superboy. For the past 35 years, Smith has been a role-player/Dungeon Master, Miniatures gamer and Indie/Board gamer.

John Barrowman: Singer, dancer, host and actor best known for his role as Malcolm Merlyn in the series Arrow. Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn character has made guest appearances in The Flash as well as on the CW’s Reign. He has hosted ABC’s Sing Your Face Off, among other major events.

Josh McDermitt: Comedian and star of AMC’s The Walking Dead, McDermitt made his television debut on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006. He was casted in TV movie Rehab for Rejects and as Brandon on Retired at 35. McDermitt can also be seen in Middle Man and Odious.

Karolyn Grimes: As a child actor, Grimes became best known for her role as Zuzu on the film It’s a Wonderful Life. Grimes currently serves as the unofficial ambassador for the film, traveling the world and speaking at screenings, benefits, conventions, etc.

Kelly Le Brock: An American actress and model known for her acting debut in The Woman in Red. She also appeared in Weird Science, Hard to Kill, Betrayal of the Dove, Tracks of a Killer and Hard Bounty.

Khary Payton: Known as King Ezekiel on AMC’s The Walking Dead and Aqualad in Young Justice. Payton has been a voice actor for characters such as DC comic book hero Cyborg, Specialist Wasabi from Big Hero 6: The Series, Grimlock from Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Azrael & Killer Croc in the Batman: Arkham franchise, among others.

Kristy Swanson: Known for her appearances in Pretty in Pink, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Big Daddy, Knots Landing (1987-1988), Nightingales (1989) and B.L. Stryker (1989), among others.

Lou Ferrigno: Ferrigno is most known as playing the “Hulk” in the CBS series The Incredible Hulk. He has also appeared in other television shows, such as the CBS series The King of Queens and the film I Love You, Man.

Marky Ramone: Best known as the drummer (and last living member) of the legendary punk rock band the Ramones. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and since then has been featured in the comic book TV series Killogy and appears in Killogy: The Animated Series.

Mena Suvari: Dubbed by People Weekly as an “All-American Girl,” Suvari is known for her film debuts in Nowhere, the American Pie film series and American Beauty. She also appeared in Loser, Spun, Rumor Has It, Domino, American Horror Story (2011), among others.

Michael Rooker: Best known as the blue-skinned alien Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy, a role he will reprise in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; and his role as Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead.

Rob Schneider: An American actor, comedian, screenwriter and director known for his sketch comedy series on Saturday Night Live as well as his starring comedy roles in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, The Benchwarmers and Grown Ups, among many others.

Robin Lord Taylor: Dubbed as “favorite breakout star of television,” Taylor is best known as Oswald Cobblepot or The Penguin on Gotham. Known for his role as Sam on The Walking Dead, and as Abernathy Darwin Dunlap in Accepted.

Ron Perlman: With a career spanning over three decades, Perlman has worked alongside diverse actors like Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Dominique Pinon, Brad Dourif, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jude Law, Christina Ricci, Federico Luppi, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott and Elijah Wood. He is also known for his roles in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army; biker chief Clarence Morrow on Sons of Anarchy, Norman Arbuthnot in The Last Supper and vampire leader Reinhardt in Blade II, among others.

Sean Astin: An actor and author known for his film debut as Mikey in The Goonies, Astin held the title role in the Rudy film and as Sam Gamgee in the Academy Award winning trilogy The Lord of the Rings.

Sean Gunn: Best known for his role on Gilmore Girls as Kirk Gleason, Gunn can also be found reprising his role as Kraglin (Yondu’s right hand man) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Shannon Elizabeth: An American actress and former fashion model who is known for her comedy roles in American Pie, Scary Movie and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She appeared in the horror films such as Thirteen Ghosts, Cursed and Night of the Demons.

STING: An American retired professional wrestler, actor, author, former bodybuilder and WWE Hall of Famer, he is regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Sting earned 25 championships during his 30+ year career, including 21 between WCE and TNA.

Thomas Ian Nicholas: An American film actor, singer, musician, producer, director and writer best known for playing Kevin Myers in the American Pie series, Henry Rowengartner in Rookie of the Year and Walt Disney in Walt Before Mickey.

Wil Wheaton: An actor, writer and voice actor known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Flubber, The Guild, Eureka, and The Big Bang Theory. He also appeared in Stand by Me, Toy Soldiers and Criminal Minds, among others.

Zack McGowan: Known for his role as Roan on the CW’s The 100 and as Captain Charles Vane in the Black Sails series. McGowan’s character is planned to recur on Agents of Shield and as Shkelgim in Universal’s Dracula Untold.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Morgan Brittany: New book, new group

Could not love it more!!! Ms. Morgan Brittany, our own Katherine Wentworth of "Dallas," interviewed on Fox News just now as a vice-president and spokesperson for the group PolitiChicks. Brittany and two colleagues were commenting on the canceled college speaking engagement of conservative columnist Ann Coulter. Brittany has also just co-authored a book, "What Women Really Want."

This author got the chance to interview Brittany at an appearance in New Jersey a few years back, and what a sweet and gracious gal she is. Such a far cry from her evil character on "Dallas." And she was definitely keeping tabs on the newer "Dallas" show, airing on TNT at the time. "Katherine Wentworth is out there," she told me resolutely when I asked her about the possibility of her appearing on the series, which brought back so many of her castmates. Indeed, what a lost opportunity. Katherine could have really shaken things up -- and given the series more staying power beyond the unfortunate loss of Larry Hagman. And hello!!! -- Brittany looks wonderful, as evidenced this morning.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: "Three's Company" trading cards by Topps

Two's company and three's a crowd -- except when you have two lovely ladies living with a guy pretending to be gay! Yea, that was the premise of one of our fave classic TV shows, "Three's Company." This author watched the half-hour sitcom faithfully every week. The show ran on ABC for several seasons, from 1977 to 1984, and had several cast changes, but can you believe it had very little merchandise released for it? Besides the typical DVDs and autographed photos, all we could find on this show nowadays was a set of trading cards by Topps, circa 1978. They're the featured item on this week's episode of Terrific TV Toys ...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

More terrific toys related to TV shows (for the most part!) at this toy show ...

Any day this author can take in a toy show is a good day, and the sun is shining, to boot! Who can argue with that? Once again, we see some TV-related goodies at this show at an Elks Hall in Metro Detroit. So cool ...

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: Scooby-Doo gang microfigures by Character Building

That poor Danger-Prone Daphne -- she gets quite the bad rap, doesn't she? Well, she gets her due in this week's episode of the Terrific TV Toys series. We let her have her say, to say the least!!! And then we see a quartet of cute microfigures by Character Building: Daphne, Velma, the Clown Ghost and the Bayou Beast of "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" lore. Check it out ...

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Behind the wheel of a jumpin' General: A chat with the founder of the Northeast Ohio Dukes

A few weeks ago, on a Friday in late February, "Dukes of Hazzard" fans got to experience a rare treat, and a truly historic moment, when a blazin' orange General Lee car went sailing through the air in downtown Detroit, the Detroit River shimmering beyond in the brilliant sunlight, the temperature unseasonably warm. There were cheers and oohs and aahs and whoas from the enormous crowd -- some standing curbside as the car hit the ramp, some perched high up at Cobo Center, enjoying a great vantage point behind the glass. Some were on a lunch hour; some took the day off work; a few traveled from other states like our friend Billy and his family. A huge accompaniment of press covered the event, with at least one of Detroit's major TV networks live-streaming the jump, which kicked off the weekend for Autorama. And there was lots of Facebook Live goin' on, for sure. Lots of selfies, lots of video like the BRBTV one below. Capturing the moment, the history, the joy, the thrill for "Dukes" fans!

The jump was over in an instant, but it took weeks -- maybe months -- of prep. No one knows this better than the man behind the wheel, Mr. Raymond Kohn (pronounced like "John" with a K). He's the founder of the group, Northeast Ohio Dukes, that brought a big crew to Detroit to make this happen. From the initial ramp setup on Atwater Street, to wheelin' the car onto the Autorama showroom floor later that afternoon, it had to be a big production, lots of planning. BRBTV had the pleasure to chat with Raymond a week or so ago about this and about the work the group does.

"I broke my left wrist in Detroit," Raymond muses of that banner day that otherwise was completed in such stunning fashion. “Yea, I broke my left wrist. Outside of that, I was perfect. I wasn’t even sore. Usually you’re sore or stiff for a few days. I wasn’t even sore or stiff or anything like that. My doctor had explained the type of break it was. I realized that this was my first daylight jump in a long time. At night you can’t see the landing; in the daytime you can. So here the car is approaching the ground, the pavement, and I’m like, I braced for it. That’s what it was. I braced for it. And I tried pushing against the steering wheel, rather than letting my safety belts do their job. I pushed against it, and overextended my wrist, and that’s how. I think they call it a fracture, like a hairline fracture.”

For Kohn, who has been doing this sort of work for 10 years, it's not the only injury he's had, certainly. And sometimes, it can be more lasting than a wrist that heals.

“I have a broken collar bone," he says. "That’s unrepairable. And of course, with a broken collar bone, it throws off your shoulder; now you’ve got a pain in your shoulder."

You can't always guarantee how a General Lee is going to land, after all.

"One time I landed flat," he says. "Even though I was off of the seat about six or seven inches, the car came down flat, like it was dropped from a plane. And it came down flat on all four wheels. The explosion, when the car landed, it broke all four rims, snapped the transmission in half. And when you land flat, it hurts. It took about six or seven months for me to actually be able to walk around right and be able to get up and move around and stuff. I was beat up pretty good on that one."

That, his coworker Jimmy reminds him while we're on the phone, was September 9, 2013. Brookville, Pennsylvania.

"There’s video of that," Raymond quickly adds. "Let me tell you, man, that one hurt. So when people say, oh, there wasn’t enough weight in the trunk, yes, there was. We had exactly the correct amount of weight in there for the jump. You can ask any professional stunt car driver who has jumped a car, landing flat is the worst way a driver can land, because the driver has one impact. I say this from my experience, and I’m not a rookie, I’ve been doing this for a while. My experience is, when you see the car pretty much unscathed, and it looks still pretty good, usually that means the driver had it pretty hard on the inside. When the car is all twisted and crunched and mangled, well, the car absorbed all of that energy and the driver had it pretty easy on the inside.”

Photo by Jason G.

Well, in Detroit, that car was pretty mangled, as you can see above, so we're glad for that! Plus, the timing of this particular jump held a certain irony for him.

“It’s awesome. I had never thought in a million years, especially the way it all happened, I mean, this is our 10th anniversary of doing the stunt shows. Somehow my 20th General Lee jump fell on the 10th anniversary, at Autorama. I felt like a million dollars, let me tell you.”

But he says, “I was scared to death. I was real happy when it was over. ... If anyone would ever ask me, and they have, well, what does it feel like to jump a car, and hitting the ramp and stuff, just imagine a really extreme roller coaster, OK, and then at the end of the roller coaster ride, it derails and falls to the ground. Hitting the ramp hurts. You’re hitting a giant wedge in the middle of the road at 55, 60 miles an hour, and that stings. It hurts, I’m telling you. And about the time you’re going, omigosh, that hurt, here comes the second one, you know.”

Kohn actually founded the Northeast Ohio Dukes unofficially back in 2005, a couple years earlier than its more official 2007 beginning, when he was asked to bring a couple replica cars -- a Hazzard County Sheriff's car and a General Lee -- to an event.

"I was asked by MTV, the producers of 'Your Movie Show,' to bring our nice cars, the Rosco car and the General Lee, down to this thing they were doing in Covington (Georgia). They were having Corey Eubanks jump over our Rosco car near Oxford College. I was already going around with the cars and showing them, and everybody calls their ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ group this or that, and where I’m from, everyone calls it ‘Northeast Ohio whatever,’ so I had to come up with something, and I said, how about Northeast Ohio Dukes.”

Thus, some stars were born. Because things grew from there, from the time of their first official jump in 2007. Not just with the crew members Raymond was able to recruit for this effort, which became more of a full "Dukes of Hazzard"-themed show, but family members, as well!

“My dad grew out a white beard and started playing Uncle Jesse," he says. "My older brother started playing Boss Hogg. That’s how it all came to be."

He says, “We noticed that 5,000 and 8,000 and 9,000 people were coming out to the first four jumps. We felt that it was important to give them more than 15 seconds of airtime, to do a jump. I thought, if we write a script and add some more stunts, we can actually play it out. So here comes all the wireless mics, and people can hear us talking. We have sound effects; we have explosions. I never expected this to happen. I really didn’t.”

For Raymond, it became a full-time gig. “I was working for a towing company for eight years, and I basically had to give that up in order to do this. There was no way I could do both.”

And it comes down to that aforementioned planning and prep thing, which takes time, not just for the bigger stunt show, but also for the single jumps like in Detroit. The Northeast Ohio Dukes only do two to four full stunt shows a year. Each lasts an hour and a half to two hours.

“Believe it or not, when we do our full stunt show, it takes a good 35, 40 people. You have at least five people on the track crew, you have your director, you have your sound technician. It’s a full production. The very, very backbone, the core of our stunt crew, if you saw the guys who were with me in Detroit, those are the guys who are here constantly, building the cars, manning the show, stuff like that. Outside of my best friend who plays Luke in our stunt shows, Rob, they were fans who saw our shows.”

He continues, “We have to build those cars to make it look like what you see flying in Detroit. That usually takes about three weeks to a month to do that to one of those cars. The cop cars usually take around three days, three or four days to get those ones caged and ready to go. We can only do a couple a year. In 2012 we did four. We did the jump in Galax, Virginia. And then, within a week apart from each other – I think one was six days apart; the other two were seven days apart. We did three full shows. So we had to have like four General Lees ready. We had to have four Sheriff Little cars, four Rosco cars. So when we get booked, and we put our minds to it, we could do probably four a year, but we actually feel comfortable with maybe two, and like your couple single General Lee jumps. It just depends. We’ve done four in a year.”

Photo by Jason G.

The experience in Detroit also gave him a certain impression of a city that has gotten a bad rap for years.

“There’s crime everywhere, no matter what city you live in," Raymond says. "What the media has made out the City of Detroit to be, is false. We had families getting their picture taken; half were black or Hispanic. People love ‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’ and it doesn’t matter what color you are, what nationality.”

And despite the hoopla in recent years over the Confederate flag that the General Lee bears on its roof, all was peaceful that sunny day in Detroit, thank the Lord. Raymond says he has never jumped the car without the flag and would never, ever -- ever -- do it. To him, that would be selling out, compromising on work that has gone beyond a hobby for him, into something more meaningful, a tribute to the show and its stars that he loved so much as a kid. He tells the story of actually being asked for one particular jump to take the flag off the roof. The jump didn't happen. And there were a few armchair quarterbacks, here and there, after the Detroit jump. How the ramp was placed, how the car flew, whatever.  ("Why ya gotta go and bust up a Charger like that?") Haters gonna hate. Raymond tries not to take it to heart -- everybody has an opinion, and he's got 26,000 fans on the group's Facebook page to stand up for them, after all.

This is a seasoned professional who stands his ground, and who obviously has some good folks standing with him. It's all about the love of a TV show.

The Northeast Ohio Dukes crew at Autorama 2017. Photo courtesy of Raymond Kohn; please do not copy without permission.

And during that historic moment in Detroit, as he went sailing through the air outside Cobo Center, Raymond Kohn couldn't help but think of his very first jump, a decade ago ...

“We didn’t have all of the safety equipment that we have now," he says, "and when I look back at the first jump, I’m like, I can’t believe I did that without wearing a jump vest. Without a head restraint. I’m like, why would I do something so reckless like that? And if you think about it, that was 10 years ago. I must have been 29 years old. (Oh, if I could only go back to that age!) So I look back at the early days of me doing those, and I’m like, I must have been just stupid. Stupid. Why would I do all that stuff? Out of stupidity, right? You know? I’ll tell you this. The fear is overwhelming, whether it’s your first one or whether it’s your 20th one. I was just as scared, if not more, on No. 20 as I was for No. 1. And believe it or not, No. 20 was a lot like No. 1, the feeling. Because No. 1 was my first jump; No. 20 was my first jump landing on asphalt. Landing on the street. So they sort of went hand in hand.”

He continues, “A friend of mine who does Hollywood stunts; he’s from Ohio. I said, hey, am I ever going to not be so scared? Scared to death, scared to where you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and like the hairs on my face. I touch my cheeks, and I can’t even feel like them, like I’m numb. I’m numb. The adrenaline has got you just like so numb you can’t feel anything. He said it will never go away, and if it does, that’s when you need to quit.”

Hopefully for this crew, that won't be a very long time!

You can watch the Northeast Ohio Dukes' Facebook page for the latest on the group, and keep up with their shows at the schedule on their website.

Many thanks to Raymond for sharing this cool insight! Yeeee-haaaaaa!!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Another awesome episode of "Fantastic Forum" from Awesome Con!

Another "Fantastic Forum" episode has hit the airwaves on the East Coast, and it's one taped at the awesome Awesome Con in Washington, D.C.! The topic this time: what fandom means to you. This host right here, Billie Rae Bates, discusses fandom with panelists Zachary Winland, Maurice James and Michael Dougherty. In-between the two discussion segments, show producer and director Ulysses Campbell interviews Elizabeth Henstridge of Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." So cool!

Keep your eye on the "Fantastic Forum" website for the latest on this D.C.-based show, which broadcasts on REAL TV, as well as on the Internet. If you're on the East Coast, catch it here:
  • Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York, NY; Time Warner Cable MNN Lifestyle channel 2
  • PhillyCam,  Philadelphia, PA; Comcast channel 66/966; Verizon FiOS channel 29/30.
  • MCM  Montgomery County, MD; Comcast channel 21; RCN channel 21; Verizon FiOS channel 21.
  • Arlington Independent Media (AIM), Arlington County, VA; Comcast channel 69; Verizon FiOS channel 38.
  • FPA-TV,  Fairfax County, VA; Cox channel 10.
  • DCTV, Washington, DC; Comcast channel 95; RCN channel 10; Verizon FiOS channel 10.
  • Prince George’s Community Television (CTV), Prince George’s County, MD; COMCAST channel 76; Verizon FiOS channel 42.
  • Community Media of Baltimore City (CMBC), Baltimore, MD; Comcast channel 75.
  • Herndon Community Television, Cox channel 23, Verizon FIOS channel 28.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: Batgirl bendy by NJ Croce -- '90s version

Last month, in BRBTV's continuing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, you saw a bendy by NJ Croce commemorating Yvonne Craig's iconic portrayal of the character on the 1960s live-action "Batman" TV series. This month's anniversary installment fast-forwards three decades to "Batman: The Animated Series" and "The New Batman Adventures," where Melissa Gilbert (and later Tara Strong and others) brought Babs Gordon to life on the cartoon cel.

It's this week's episode of Terrific TV Toys ...

Coming up next week: A daffy Daphne -- and a very diminutive one!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Universe of Evil has arrived! Check out the latest in the "Super Friends" line from Figures Toy Co. ...

Will ("The Voice Man") Rodgers is at it again, collecting so many fabulous goodies being released by Figures Toy Co. You've seen his collection in the February 19, 2016 and January 21, 2017 posts on this blog. Now, it's more "Super Friends" love, and it should be, since Will is a big-time "Super Friends" fan and the author of the BRBTV guide "The Ultimate Super Friends Companion."

"Thought I'd share that the Evil Super Friends figures from the 1979 episode 'Universe of Evil' arrived today," Will says. "Some pics I took are what I call the episode or the battle we never got. Enjoy the pics :)"

Share your love of the "Super Friends," by the way, on Will's Facebook group, DC Comics Classic Animation: The Saturday Morning Era Fan Page.

Photos courtesy of Will Rodgers;
please do not copy without permission.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

From Underdog to Jeannie to Gilligan, this toy show had the classic TV covered

This past weekend was a toy show double-header, and we sure love that. Saturday was one we have known and loved for a few years now, the show at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market. Then, on Sunday, we took in a new show up at Macomb Community College, one heavy on model cars that even featured a slot-car competition. Very cool, and thanks to Brian and Joe for their work on that one.

At the Royal Oak show, we saw lots of great stuff, so we just had to share ...

Had to love spotting this one! See the Terrific TV Toys episode on this author's childhood version of this doll.

Another marvelous Mego, just like Cher and Farrah!

This one is for you, Will! And it's a big box!!!

An original Jim Beam bottle like what they used to make the "I Dream of Jeannie" bottle -- a friend of ours snapped this one up.

Here's another one that has a Terrific TV Toys episode -- but can you spot the differences between that one and this one?

Can you believe that's a "Gilligan's Island" playset!? Ludicrous. We had never seen this treasure before.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another "Dukes of Hazzard" masterpiece from the Great White North

Canadian artist and avid "Dukes of Hazzard" fan Jim Wilson is at it again, this time crafting a rather clever work combining two important elements of our beloved classic TV series ... the orange "01" of the General Lee and a moonshine jug!!!!

You saw lots of Jim's work in previous posts on this blog, and in the BRBTV guide, "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" We really like this one ... so artsy and cool ...

Image courtesy of Jim Wilson; please do not copy without permission.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: "Green Hornet" View-Master set

This week's episode of the Terrific TV Toys series starts out really quietly, and that may seem like an error (well, it basically is!). But we left off the background music, that jazzy tune by that you're used to hearing on this series, because the video-editing software stopped working correctly and would no longer save with the music attached! Alack and alas, we're going to have to figure out something else for future episodes, but for now, you can still enjoy this look at the View-Master set from the 1966 TV show "The Green Hornet" ...

There was a whole lot of merchandise for this single-season show, as this author details in the new print edition of the BRBTV guide "Let's Roll, Kato." There was just one View-Master set, detailing the action of the third episode to air, "Programmed for Death." It was the exciting story where a leopard prances through the Daily Sentinel newsroom, and as Britt investigates, he discovers a counterfeit diamond operation and a wealthy widow running her own biz around it. So fun.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Catch BRB hosting the latest episode of "Fantastic Forum" on comics-related TV and movies

Well, this author is geeked and psyched and all that once again to have been part of the "Fantastic Forum" TV show. The latest episode is now up and viewable, and it features a discussion about TV shows and movies related to comics that we all know and love. This was recorded at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C., a couple years back, before the "Supergirl" series premiered on CBS (then later moved to the CW). Awesome Con was the most awesome of settings for this topic!

Keep your eye on the "Fantastic Forum" website for the latest on this D.C.-based show, which broadcasts on REAL TV, as well as on the Internet. If you're on the East Coast, catch it here:
  • Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York, NY; Time Warner Cable MNN Lifestyle channel 2
  • PhillyCam,  Philadelphia, PA; Comcast channel 66/966; Verizon FiOS channel 29/30.
  • MCM  Montgomery County, MD; Comcast channel 21; RCN channel 21; Verizon FiOS channel 21.
  • Arlington Independent Media (AIM), Arlington County, VA; Comcast channel 69; Verizon FiOS channel 38.
  • FPA-TV,  Fairfax County, VA; Cox channel 10.
  • DCTV, Washington, DC; Comcast channel 95; RCN channel 10; Verizon FiOS channel 10.
  • Prince George’s Community Television (CTV), Prince George’s County, MD; COMCAST channel 76; Verizon FiOS channel 42.
  • Community Media of Baltimore City (CMBC), Baltimore, MD; Comcast channel 75.
  • Herndon Community Television, Cox channel 23, Verizon FIOS channel 28.

Monday, March 20, 2017

John Schneider will greet fans at MegaCon in May and Niagara Falls in June

Thanks to Phyllis for passing along the latest schedule for John ("Bo Duke") Schneider of "The Dukes of Hazzard" ...

Personal Appearances

John will meet fans at the MegaCon in Orlando, Florida, on May 27-28.  For more information go to

John will meet fans at the Niagara Falls Comic Con in Niagara Falls, Canada, on June 2-4.  For more information and tickets go to

John will meet fans at the Southern Wheels 'N Motion Car and Truck Show in Tullahoma, Tennessee, on June 17.  For more information call 931-455-8096 or 931-247-2663.

John will meet fans at Cooter's Last Stand in Luray, Virginia, on July 29-30.  For more information go to


John will be part of the concert at SpringFest in Denham Springs, Louisiana, on April 29.


The current season of "The Haves And The Have Nots" will resume on OWN on Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m. Eastern/ 8 Central on June 20.  Next season's episodes will be filmed soon, as the series has been renewed for another season. (A big woot-woot on that! This author loves Tyler Perry and loves this show!)

Important Link

John's new official website is   Make sure you check there often to see what is available in his store and to stream his new movies.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

See your fave "Dukes of Hazzard" stars at these spring appearances

Thanks to Cooter's Place for passing along this schedule of upcoming appearances for several cast members of "The Dukes of Hazzard" ...

  • March 31-April 1: Ben (“Cooter”) Jones will be in Boston at Town Fair Tire World of Wheels Car Show.
  • April 8-9: Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach will be signing autographs in Daisy Country at Cooter’s Place in Nashville.
  • April 11-16: Rick Hurst ("Deputy Cletus Hogg") will be signing autographs at Cooter’s Place in Gatlinburg.
  • May 6: Cooter’s Luray Grand Opening along with the opening of the Shenandoah Jamboree featuring Tom Wopat.
  • May 6-7: Tom ("Luke Duke") Wopat will be at Cooter’s Place in Luray for a meet-and-greet.
  • July 1-8: Rick Hurst will be signing autographs at Cooter’s Place in Gatlinburg.
  • July 29-30: “Cooter's Last Stand" in Luray, Virginia (see the earlier post on this blog).
  • December 26-January 3: Rick Hurst will be signing autographs at Cooter’s Place in Gatlinburg.
And see our Monday post for the latest schedule for John ("Bo Duke") Schneider!

How interesting that the estate of James ("Rosco P. Coltrane") Best of "The Dukes of Hazzard" recently put up on eBay an animation cel that Best owned from his time on "The Dukes" Saturday-morning cartoon of the '80s. The cel went for $445, and that's no surprise -- original production animation cels can go for quite a lot as it is, let alone those owned by celebs. This one is a really nice shot, too, a good, centered close-up on Best's character. Congrats to the new owner!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman toys by Kraft Foods

Since the dawn of fast food, it seems, there have been fast-food toys. Happy Meals, Kids' Meals, whatever. Well, the set of toys from 1998 that we're looking at in this week's episode of the Terrific TV Toys series may appear to be fast-food toys, but they're actually not. Can you guess how folks acquired this Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman set back in the late '90s? They're drawn up in the Timmverse style that began with "Batman: The Animated Series" and continued with "Superman: The Animated Series "...

Friday, March 10, 2017

Announcing the print edition of "Let's Roll, Kato: A Guide to TV's Green Hornet"!

Last September 9, on the 50th anniversary of the "Green Hornet" TV series, BRBTV released the Kindle edition of its latest fact book, "Let's Roll, Kato." Now, we're excited to tell ya that the print edition has been released, delivering the content of the Kindle edition in a standard 6-by-9 trade paperback clocking in at 482 pages!

You'll find "Let's Roll, Kato" on Amazon and other e-tailers, and it can be ordered from your local bookstore, too. In it, you'll find these goodies:

  • A history of the development of the series, as well as background on each of the principal stars
  • Cast list and character guide
  • Episode synopses, plus background on the storylines and scripts
  • A look at the Black Beauty car, with input from owners of both screen-used and replica vehicles
  • A listing of the many gadgets used by the Hornet, both inside the car and out
  • An in-depth look at the books and comics that sprung from the series, with input from the writers and artists who helped produce them
  • Detailed guide to the vast and varied merchandise celebrating the series, with plenty of photos

The sixth big book in the BRBTV fact book series, "Let's Roll, Kato" features the beautiful cover art of Baltimore artist Dale Cuthbertson, just like the other BRBTV books! At just $17.50, we think it's a pretty good deal, though maybe we're a bit partial!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Cooter takes his last stand in Luray, Virginia, this summer, and it will be a big "Dukes" blowout

We probably have mentioned the Cooter's Last Stand event in Luray, Virginia, this July on this blog before, but even so, it bears repeating, especially considering this nice flier we picked up at the Detroit Autorama the weekend before last ...

Hearkening back to the Dukesfests of years past, as well as the more recent Hazzard Homecoming events, this one has all the usual trappings, with the core surviving cast scheduled to appear, and we expect to see a huge, huge crowd there. It's reputed to be the last major "Dukes" event, at least from Ben Jones and Miss Alma. Are ya comin'? Basically everybody we've talked to in the "Dukes of Hazzard" world is planning to.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: Batgirl bendy by NJ Croce -- '60s version

The 50th anniversary celebration for the Barbara Gordon Batgirl continues on Terrific TV Toys, and this week, you'll see a bendy of Yvonne Craig's iconic portrayal of the character in the 1960s live-action "Batman" TV series also starring Adam West. This comes from NJ Croce, and there's another one (the 1990s version) following behind it in the next anniversary installment ...

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Fleetwood Country Cruize-in gets all "Dukes"-y again this summer

Thanks to our "Dukes of Hazzard" buddy Jim Wilson (whose amazing "Dukes" art you've seen on this blog) for passing along this screenshot with all the details of this summer's Fleetwood Country Cruize-In at the Steve Plunkett estate in London, Ontario, Canada. It happens June 3-4, and again our beloved "Dukes" will be well-represented. This time it's Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach, Sonny ("Enos Strate") Shroyer and Rick ("Cletus Hogg") Hurst signing autographs for fans, as well as original "Dukes" show mechanic Tom Sarmento, whom we got the pleasure of chatting with at last summer's event, as well.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Autorama 2017: The videos!

"The Dukes of Hazzard" added a nice element to this year's Autorama in downtown Detroit, beginning with the jump of a General Lee replica car outside the event venue, Cobo Center, and continuing on all weekend on the show floor, where you had Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach and Tom ("Luke Duke") Wopat signing autographs for fans, as well as another General Lee here and there and plenty of fun to be had. BRBTV has captured some moments for you to enjoy ...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Autorama 2017: A jump of a General Lee, and so much more!

Whew! This chick finally gets a chance to sort through videos and photos from this past weekend -- what a busy few days it has been, with all kinds of folks visiting from out of town, and all kinds of fun being had! It was centered around Autorama in delightful downtown Detroit, which kicked off late Friday morning with a jump of the General Lee, then continued with assorted "Dukes of Hazzard"-related stuff throughout the event (oh, and there was some kind of car show there, too, right?).

The General Lee jump happened right behind the event venue, Cobo Center, on the riverfront, orchestrated by the Northeast Ohio Dukes with stunt driver Ray Kohn behind the wheel. The sun was shining, the temp was so mild, and the crowd was robust -- lots of people turned out to witness the car soaring through the air above Atwater Street. Look for video of the jump, as well as several other "Dukes of Hazzard"-related goodies from Autorama, on the BRBTV YouTube channel in the next couple days. For now, though, we've got some photos, courtesy of our roving reporter, Jason ...

Photos courtesy of Jason G.; please do not copy without permission.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: Michael Jackson doll by LJN Toys

This author's mom sure could find some great stuff. Take the Marilyn Monroe doll, all outfitted in red, which was my favorite color. Then there's the Elvis doll in his famous gold lame suit -- oh, that was a nice one. But one particular item she bought for me, 'round about 1984, stands out in my mind and is the subject of this week's Terrific TV Toys installment. It's a 12-inch doll like the others, but it celebrates a true pop icon, a megastar of our time, a guy who achieved the superstardom he evidently set out to have: Mr. Michael Jackson, whose fame covered several decades of our pop culture, and who became so many things in our eyes over the years. Back then, though, in the glorious 1980s, he was simply Michael Jackson, pop superstar, not all that other stuff yet.

Can we make a Terrific TV Toy out of an MJ doll? You betcha. One particular TV appearance the pop idol made in 1984 really epitomized his success. There he was, receiving award after award that night, making a glittery fashion statement, with a lovely female fellow superstar on his arm, Ms. Brooke Shields. It was January 1984, and the American Music Awards ...

(You know, there's actually a Brooke Shields doll out there from that same time period. Wouldn't that just be funny to nab that and to totally recreate this iconic TV moment ...)

Are ya going to the jump of the General Lee in downtown Detroit this morning, right before Autorama opens? Great -- we'll see ya there!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: "Dukes of Hazzard" card game by IGI

We know that ole Boss Hogg is always playing games, but have we got one for him!!! This is a card game by IGI, the makers of the long-revered UNO (and believe me, UNO is definitely revered in this household!), and it dates to 1981, the height of merchandising for the beloved TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard." You've got your Bo cards, your Luke cards, your Daisy cards -- just about everybody from Hazzard County is in there! (Can you guess which characters were not included? Special points! There are several minor cast members and one more major one that weren't included, and bonus point if you speculate exactly why, for the more major one!!!!)

It's all there in the latest episode of Terrific TV Toys ...

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Terrific TV Toys: Batgirl figure by Vinyl Sugar

Our celebration of Batgirl's 50th anniversary continues this week on Terrific TV Toys. Next up is a figure by Vinyl Sugar, one in their set of Vinyl Idolz.

Next week, we head back to Hazzard County!!!