Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – A Real Brady In The Bunch

As a collector of kitsch for decades now with a particular love for popular television shows, there’s nothing better than having the real thing who made the real thing in your presence. Such was the case when Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy Brady, the youngest, cutest, blondest Brady in the Bunch, walked into Willis Wonderland last Friday afternoon. And she came bearing one of her signature Christmas cakes, which is how we came to know each other in the first place as she posted her kulinary kitsch koncoction in The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch over Christmas.

Susan spent over a month (extra kitsch point #1) making these rum soaked (extra kitsch point #2) fruit cakes (extra kitsch point #3). And her description of them was hysterical too. It was an even better sign when I saw the way she prepped her photos. In the land of kitsch, detail insets are most impressive:

I got especially excited when I saw all the snowy peach fuzz that surrounded Susan’s elves:

But the elves on the cake she brought me needed no such extra set decoration as they got down to enough business on their own:

I was actually introduced to Susan by my Facebook friend and most dedicated aKitschionado at The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch, Denny McClain. We made sure to give him his props before we did anything else:

Our hooking up was also facilitated by another Facebook friend, Steven Wishnoff, who accompanied Susan to Willis Wonderland. I immediately offered them a snack as I had something amazingly fitting for this most kitschous of occasions:

Any of you smart and dedicated enough to subscribe to my blog will recognize that we’re holding a piece of King’s Hawaiian Bakery Rainbow Bread that I bought a loaf of last weekend on my Sunday drive with Charles Phoenix. This is possibly my favorite food discovery of the century so far.

It was perfect as Susan actually came dressed matching the bread:

We were all most anxious to see what happened to the color swirls when the bread was toasted, hoping they would get even brighter with a little bit of heat. We were sorely disappointed:

But that didn’t stop us from slopping on some peanut butter and jelly and enjoying a delicious grill stripped rainbow mini meal.

We spent a lot of time walking around Willis Wonderland as Susan and Steven had an excellent sense of kitsch.

I had much Brady Bunch memorabilia out…

…but I stupidly forgot to ask Susan to autograph anything. Luckily, before we met she mailed me a copy of a book she co-wrote about the making of one of the most exquisitely cheesy television specials ever made, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

If you’ve never seen it, RUN to YouTube now!!

Thank God, Susan autographed the book so I didn’t feel tooooo bad about the missed opportunities for my aforementioned Brady treasures.

All in all, we had a most Brady day!

I’m hoping next time we get together Susan will make me one of her signature Flufftinis.

Afterall, there’s SO MUCH we see eye to eye on.

Share this page.   Subscribe to the blog.
Bookmark and Share
 


Categories: Book, Celebrity, Dance, Drink, Food, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, TV/Radio, video

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Hanukah Menorah Hat


I used to hate these theme hats as they always look so dorky. But now that I have a blog and a museum that spotlight kitsch this sort of haberdashery seems to fit right in, especially when it’s on my head. And especially when it’s this awkward menorah hat on this first day of Hanukah. The candles don’t stand up straight and nine candles is kind of too wide for a hat anyway.


READ MORE »


Categories: Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, Memorabilia, Religion, TV/Radio

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Dr. Ben Casey Pencils

I loved me some Ben Casey when I was a kid. I had Ben Casey diaries, wallets, cufflinks, bobble head dolls, anything and everything that had that kind-of-smile-but-not-really brooding look that Vincent Edwards, who played the handsome doctor, knew how to give with amazing regularity. Here he is as a cufflink with the same intent look:

READ MORE »


Categories: Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, Memorabilia, TV/Radio

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Seriously Kitschy Birthday Gifts

I wasn’t going to do anything for my birthday this year. Too overworked and no extra coinage to throw around. But word leaked out and spread and all of a sudden these people, most of whom I’ve spent every birthday and momentous occasion with for umpteen years, showed up at my house:

READ MORE »


Categories: Art, bad art, Book, Brands, Bubbles the artist, Celebrity, Creativity, Food, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Party, People

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Maestro The Musical Bingo” Game and Working with Pomplamoose

Musical-Bingo-game_2122

This game felt especially fitting because it’s supposed to teach you how to play by ear. Not only did I never learn to play by ear but I never learned to play period. Which makes the fact that my songs have sold over 50 million records a very kitschy thing indeed! I don’t suppose this game will help me, though, as there are no instructions included. I was never good at following instructions with anything anyway which is why just about everything I do is so spontaneous and free form. Which is what I loved about Pomplamoose when everyone started sending me links to their version of my song,“September”.   I sent them a message and asked them if they wanted to write something together, something I never do, but I thought they were so fresh and casual and inventive that it would be a good match. From the looks of their videos it looked like they already knew what this game had to teach.

READ MORE »


Categories: Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Pomplamoose, September, Songwriting, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Largest Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia Exhibition Ever!

05-IMG_2846

The title of this post is somewhat misleading as although I really did go to the largest exhibition of Marilyn Monroe’s personal artifacts ever I assumed it wasn’t cool to take photos inside the Hollywood Museum where it took place so I only took my camera out to snap a few personal photos of my own.  As I was driving home I was kicking myself that I didn’t break the rules and at least sneak a shot of Marilyn’s gigantic 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine with her gloves and purse still lying on the back seat and the cap owned by the chauffeur, who owns the car to this day, still on the dash.  There were checks written by Marilyn, personal notes, clothes, scripts, magazine covers including huge original photos of her Playboy spread – she graced the cover of the first Playboy ever – and anything else you could have ever hoped to see of Marilyn’s. The star, of course, was not here to celebrate with us having left the planet over 40 years ago but look who was wearing a gown that Marilyn wore to entertain the troops in Korea in 1951:

READ MORE »


Categories: Architecture, Celebrity, Health & Beauty, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Memorabilia

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Art Linkletter “People Are Funny” Party Game

linkletter-game_2938

Yesterday, iconic TV host Art Linkletter passed away. Even as a little kid Art seemed a little square to me but there’s no doubt that he pioneered many of the formulas of today’s TV shows with segments like celebrity guests, cooking, talking to kids and audience quizzes. His big two hits which between them ran from 1952 to 1970, House Party and People Are Funny, were massively popular. This ‘party game with cards’ spun out of the latter and continued in people’s living rooms what was so popular on Art’s shows -  getting everyday people to do dorky stunts like trying to cash a check written on a watermelon and make fools of themselves, oftentimes ending up with a pie in the face for failing. It’s obvious that Linkletter’s tactics are still very much alive on TV today.

READ MORE »


Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Brands, Celebrity, Creativity, Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, People, R.I.P., TV/Radio

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Record Coasters

record-coasters_5871

These little hard plastic record coasters were all the rage in the 1950′s and 60′s when 45′s and 33-1/3′s were blasting from hifi’s all over the world and Tom Collins, Manhattans and Hi Balls were resting on them as everyone did The Jitterbug and Stroll, topping it off with The Twist.   Some of the coasters were just cheesy versions of records featuring hit drinks:

READ MORE »


Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Drink, Furniture and Housewares, LPs, Memorabilia, Music, Songwriting, The Color Purple

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Academy Award Screen Stars Stamp Album

Screen-Stars-Stamp-Album_6064

This is an amazing movie find, especially for a stamp collecting movie nut (which I’m not but I can appreciate the passion).  Sixty pages of  blank squares, each ascribed with the name of a 1920′s – 50′s star, from Academy Award winners to TV stars, “The Young Set”, International stars, World-Famous Women, Animal stars, Shootin’ stars (Western), Symphony stars, Singing stars, Comedians  and every other category that Hollywood could possibly subdivide itself into.

READ MORE »


Categories: Awards, Celebrity, Crafts, Dance, Film, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, TV/Radio

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1959 “Name That Tune” Game

name-that-tune_6023

Well, the obvious tunes I would name are “September”, “Boogie Wonderland”, “Neutron Dance”, “What Have I Done to Deserve To This?” and I guess “I’ll Be There for You”. The rest of my favorite tunes are here.  But if I have to credit an early source of inspiration for being in the music business and then becoming a songwriter it would have to be the TV show, “Name That Tune”,  upon which this game is based and which I watched  religiously as a wee nip.

READ MORE »


Categories: Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Memorabilia, Music, TV/Radio

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license