The notorious wave pool at Action Park in Vernon, NJ.
Gobbledygeek episode 413, “Action Park: Everything Is Legal in New Jersey,” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
As Hamilton taught us, everything is legal in New Jersey. So we shouldn’t be surprised that it was once home to Action Park, the most dangerous amusement park in the world. Eugene Mulvihill’s vision of a lawless hellscape with pleasure as its only principle is the American Dream in miniature, with a guest appearance by Donald Trump himself! Paul and Arlo discuss the new HBO Max documentary Class Action Park, which brought the Mulvihill legend to their attention; some ancillary material available on YouTube, including one insane post-credits sequence; how Paul would love to bean somebody with a flaming tennis ball; and their respective childhoods, one as a latchkey kid in the ‘70s/’80s and one as a cowardly nerd in the ‘90s/’00s. Will they emerge unscathed? Tune in and find out!
Next: another episode of your favorite podcast. No, not that one. This one. Wait. Come back.
Total Run Time: 01:24:00
- 00:00:30 – Intro / Main Topic
- 01:21:07 – Outro / Next
- Action Park commercial (1983)
- “Don’t Talk to Strangers” by The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Turtle Tunes (1994)
Gobbledygeek episode 246, “Oh God, It’s Jason Tabrys (feat. Jason Tabrys),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Once and future Koko the Showfucker (and, one supposes, veteran pop culture writer/editor) Jason Tabrys is once again spreading his distinct brand of cheer to Gobbledygeek like so much plague. When he’s not hawking Jason Juice, M. Tabrys talks with Paul and AJ about fall TV, including accusations of Muppety ignorance; the Dear Fat People video and whether or not YouTube flashes-in-the-pan like it are worth spending our precious outrage on; and what the preponderance of fan theories means, if it means anything at all. But it’s mostly Jason Juice.
Next: the Geek Challenge rises from the dead. Paul must watch Peter Jackson’s 1992 gorefest Dead Alive, while AJ must endure the 1984 post-apocalyptic teen movie Night of the Comet.
(Show notes for “Oh God, It’s Jason Tabrys.”)
As I’m sure you’re aware, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London flat this past Saturday, July 23. She was gifted with a towering voice, a sharp wit, and an artist’s impulse to not do what anyone else wanted her to. In this era of pre-packaged pop songstresses, hers was a raw talent; her music deftly mixed jazz, R&B, and 60’s pop. She released her debut album Frank in 2003, and her Stateside breakthrough came with her second and final album, 2006’s Back to Black (both released in the U.S. in 2007). Back to Black was everywhere four years ago. Not being the sort to listen to pop radio, I remember the very first time I heard Winehouse: I was at a Borders (which is also gone now, or soon to be), browsing the music section, and I decided to throw on the headphones and take a listen to this Brit singer I’d been hearing about. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I heard. Winehouse looked thin and serious on the cover, but the voice that emanated from those headphones was big, soulful. I was sold instantly.
So were many millions of others. Back to Black garnered five Grammy Awards and carried the instant classic “Rehab.” Winehouse ushered in a new wave of British soul divas including the likes of Duffy and Adele, the latter of whom has been experiencing similar levels of ubiquity this year. In the five years following Back to Black, though, Winehouse didn’t record another album. She wasn’t just a bold, terrific singer, she was also a troubled young woman struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. The tabloids squealed and squawked about her personal life with mean-spirited glee, as they are wont to do. No matter her talent or the quality of her music, it seemed to many that since she was a junkie, she deserved to be jeered and laughed at and put on display. She didn’t help herself by putting up odd YouTube videos and stumbling through barely-there performances.