Podcasts as a whole are a dime a dozen. They seem to spring up out of thin air and tend to be that bright, shiny new ear-toy for about as long as it takes to tie your shoes. FILLintheBLANK is no different.
I’ve been a fan of this podcast since their first season aired back in 2009. In its simplest form, the show’s creators (Jason Hardwick and Nathan Lueptow) come across as bumbling cretins who blather on, comically I might add, about the nonsensical happenings of everyday life. Apart from being a petri dish for undergraduates at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, what makes FILLintheBLANK different is that each podcast is represented by a classic or recognizable album cover that’s been, well the best way I can explain it would be, FILLintheBLANK-ified.
Each podcast teeters on the 10-minute mark and is a striking example of two individuals with way too much time on their hands… but you know, surprisingly endearing. I almost feel as though I know these guys when listening to their show. If I met them in real life however, I’d probably just spit in their collective eye for not producing a new show in over two years.
I recommend checking out FILLintheBLANK if only for their clever take on several championed album covers. I heard from a friend who knows this guy who saw Jason at a Spider-Man on Broadway audition and, albeit 4th party information, there were talks of FitB (as they are known to their fans) venturing into the world of sketch comedy. Since last I read, Jason and Nathan were no longer on speaking terms (some nonsense about making a decision to purchase or not to purchase a tea set), so you know, I’m not going to hold my breath.
Remember when coupons were records? Coupons… Those redeemable offers usually printed on paper. Remember when you could play your coupon on your turntable and jam out to a new song by your favorite prime time television puppet sponsored by your favorite fast food burger joint? (Dammit do I miss the 80’s!)
So, in my research for this post (research which I almost never do), I discover a hidden corner of the interwebs called, ALF Wiki. I know, right? A fuggin’ ALF Wiki page. (Dammit I’m happy to live in the present!) Anyhoo, the good folks over at ALF Wiki offer some insight into this obscure release. In 1988, Burger King (with their old logo) had a promotion for a plush ALF doll, complete with chef’s hat and “Cookin’ with ALF” apron. The paper record, or flexi-disc (sorry if I’m dumbing it down for you) accompanied the plush doll and offered $3 off on up to five eligible ALF plush toys manufactured and distributed by Coleco Industries, Inc. (from 6/1/88 to 1/31/89). Apparently the offer was only good for the 18” ALF toy (Coleco item No. 6601) and, here’s the rub: mixing and matching of other Alf products was NOT allowed. NO MIXING AND MATCHING, KIDS! DO IT RIGHT OR NO ALF COOKING FOR YOU!
I have to wonder how many people, after having just finished their delicious Whopper (with diabetic fries and diet Love Handles cola) ran to their local K-Mart (or Shopko) and bought five, 18” ALF dolls. That’s 7’ 6” of ALF, people! My guess is not too many, but I may be underestimating the popularity of the 18″ plush ALF market.
Cookin’ with ALF is described, in gory detail, by the informative, yet unplayable B-side. A balloon protruding from ALF’s mouth (nose, beak, whatever-the-fugg-it-is) reads, “What do you get when you combine a cooking show with rap music? Rap cooking! Ha! Dig it!” And since the “rap song” was offered by a “restaurant,“ the alien, technically isn’t wrong. So, with the term Rap cooking in mind, I invite you to indulge.
I’VE NEVER HEARD SO MUCH BASS FROM A PIECE OF PAPER!!
I’ll conclude this epic post (not taking myself seriously) with the flexi-disc playing instructions found under the grooves. Remember, kids, this is a piece of paper… that plays music… on your turntable. The digital world can collectively kiss my ass! (He said on a blog post on the internet, half ironically, half sarcastically.)
1. Place phonograph on manual setting at 33 1/3 rpm.
2. Wipe record with clean cloth before each use.
3. Place coin near record center if record slips.
4. For best results bend record so it lies flat.
To remove coupon – bend at perforation and tear off gently.