Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Spoopendyke Index!

While awaiting the August switch to a new server and the resumption of new episodes of Mister Ron's Basement, we have put together a menu of ALL Stanley Huntley/Spoopendyke episodes! 

If you haven't heard these, you owe it to yourself to discover the writings of the funniest, most brilliant of 19th Century American Humorists! You can read more about Huntley in some of the earlier entries in this blog, but your best bet is to jump to the index and start listening to these stories in any order.

Through diligent research we have found over eighty Spoopendyke stories, and have included many other classic funny gems that appeared in newspapers and magazines around the planet in the early 1880s. The menu is easily accessible at: http://ronevry.com/Spoopendyke_Stories.html

Don't miss them!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Somewhat fixed -- taking a short vacation!

Okay! The Mister Ron's Basement web page is back up, BUT please note -- as a temporary fix for some technical problems, only the most recent 100 episodes will appear on the web page for a while. All 1100 plus episodes are still available via iTunes using the "Subscribe" button. Also, the George Ade and Fortunate Island indexes still work. We will hold off on posting new episodes after this for just a while as we wait for the repairs... 

UPDATE (7-15-08) -- Actually, at this point, the 100+ episodes are only available if you already subscribed while they were up on the web site. If you subscribe now, you can only get the last 100 episodes. The indexes of older episodes and links to specific episodes from, say, Wikipedia entries, still work! With a bit of luck, this will all be fixed ASAP. If there's a particular episode you need a direct link to, let me know.

Confused yet?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Podcast Host Down (sort of)

Most of the listeners to
Mister Ron's Basement know that I have performed the podcast episodes daily, as in seven days a week, for most of the last three years.

The hosting service I have used is slapcast.com, and it has been incredibly reliable for most of this time, and the most amazing bargain in all of podcasting. The owner of the service is currently dealing with some technical difficulties that are making things just a little flaky, and they probably won't be solved for a couple more weeks. 

This is understandable. Things happen. Running a podcast server is only slightly less difficult than running a national television broadcast network. maybe more so, because he is doing it without the help of hundreds of highly paid engineers.

Okay. So I am asking Basement listeners to be patient. I will post new episodes when I can, but it may take a while. 

However (this gets interesting), the server's XML feed still works like a charm. This is where the actual episodes are stored. For example, the most recent episode can still be heard by clicking here

The only problem is with the web site that you normally go to if you want to read about and get the episodes.  That is fried right now. If you do manage to get in (sometimes it comes up for air for a few minutes), you can leave it up in your browser, and click on the "Listen" links in a new window or tab.

Also, you can go to iTunes by clicking here, and you can get any of the existing episodes there. The most recent 300 episodes are on that main menu page, and all of the 1100 plus episodes are available by clicking on the "subscribe" button. 

So unless you've heard every episode so far, there's still plenty to listen to until things get back to normal.

By the way, the above image of Mister Ron was drawn by the extraordinarily talented veteran comics artist Jose Delbo. I've been a huge fan of his for ages. Thanks Jose!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Peck's Bad Boy

We have been featuring stories about Peck's Bad Boy by George W. Peck in the Basement. They're pretty funny and worth a listen. Of all Peck's humorous writing, the Bad Boy stories, first appearing in the 1880s, were the most popular, staying in print for over a century. The Bad Boy wasn't the first character of that sort, and certainly not the last. Mischievous kids have been a staple of television and comic strips for a long time. But Peck's nasty kid was probably the nastiest of them all. He played truly mean pranks on his father and others, such as the Grocery Man, but they were always clever and imaginative.

In 1921, a feature film was made of Peck's Bad Boy, starring Jackie Coogan, fresh from his co-starring role in Charlie Chaplin's The Kid. Coogan later achieved fame as an adult, playing the role of Uncle Fester on the TV series, The Addams Family. The silent film, directed by Sam Wood, who would later achieve lasting fame as the director of the Marx Bros. movie A Night at the Opera, was full of great gags. Coogan was marvelously full of spunk and nastiness.

Ten years later, another version of the story was filmed starring young Jackie Cooper as the Bad Boy, but it was marred with too much sentimentality and toned-down pranks.

No doubt, Peck's Bad Boy could easily be updated to modern times in a new movie, and if properly handled, would be extremely funny, and outrage stuffed shirts around the nation again.