BUNKHOUSE LETTERS ARCHIVE Back to: BANZAI INSTITUTE MAIN MENU
Hosted by Reno Nevada (aka Reno of Memphis.) A forum for friends and colleagues of Dr. B. Banzai to exchange ideas and to share experiences.
To submit a letter to the Bunkhouse, please e-mail to Reno. Letters may be edited for length, content, and clarity. All correspondance becomes the property of the Banzai Institute. Reno regrets that the volume of mail prevents him from replying personally to all e-mails. (Also, his regular Institute duties keep him pretty busy, too.) -R
Dear Reno: I think I may have a new oscillation overthruster sighting to report. Check out any of these on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXIH8ba0beQ , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYyQB7D7l1Y ,
Look at the pile of electronic gear on the left side of the screen in the control room. There's a small silver gizmo that looks suspiciously like Dr. B. Banzai's famous oscillation overthruster. Question: What is "Alive," and does the Institute have anything to do with it? Some covert operation, perhaps? And what about that overthruster?
Dear Svetlana: I'm happy to report that Alive is a work of fiction - at least as far as we know. It is a post-apocalyptic vision of a world populated by zombies, and of a handful of human survivors struggling to stay alive. It is a miniseries of webisodes posted on YouTube and on www.falconrockcommand.com. In confirming this info, we checked with Alive writer-producers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens (both of whom are well-known admirers of Dr. B. Banzai). But when I asked them, "What is that overthruster doing there?", all they would say was, "We'll tell you later." Then they hurried out of the room to deal with some kind of watermelon crisis. -R
Hey Reno: What's the secret ingredient in Red Robin's Banzai burger? -Paul
Dear Paul: Mrs. Johnson seems to think it's pineapple, but Perfect Tommy swears that it is a secret blend of exotic Central American herbs, mixed with old sneakers and rocket fuel from the space shuttle. Personally, I tend to side with Mrs. Johnson on this one. -R
Hey Reno: Last month I had to make a drive from Orlando, FL to Buffalo, NY which took me through the Western part of Virginia and into West Virginia. I decided since I was going to be passing through an rather mountainous area, that I would wear my shirt with the Banzai Institute and Team Banzai patches. Turns out if you drive that way, you actually drive straight through two mountains. It may not have been traveling across the 8th Dimension, but it made me smile to think that I had probably the most appropriate shirt of mine on when I went through those mountains. Send along my best wishes to the rest of the Institute and if you are ever in need in the Buffalo area, feel free to get in touch.
Be seeing you...
Just goes to show that it never hurts to carry a spare overthruster in your trunk, just in case! -R (Not a number...)
Maybe it's not a wise move to alert other potential bidders, but I saw on the Clancy Brown website that he is going to have a charity auction soon, that will include memorabilia from our favorite docudrama.
Hope all is well with you and yours,
Thanks for the heads-up, Rathany. I should mention that the auction ends on May 30th, so check it out! Your purchases will support the Beth Brown Memorial Foundation, which was formed by Clancy's parents in honor of his older sister, who died of juvenile leukemia in 1964.
Dear Reno; Whats the name of that song Buckaroo sings to Penny Priddy? I'm a big fan and i tell everyone I know, to the point of appearing shallow. Is there anyway to download a recording? -Paul
Dear Paul; "Since I Don't Have You" has been called "the best break-up song ever." With a tune by Jimmy Beaumont and lyrics by Joe Rock, who wrote the words while at a traffic light in 1958 -- or so says the legend.
It was a doo-wop hit for the Skyliners in March of 1959. According to iTunes, it has been recorded by Art Garfunkle, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, New Edition, Ricky Nelson, Guns N' Roses, James Darren, Jay and the Americans, Don McLean, Ronnie McDowell, Joey Welz, and Thomas Stafford. The Deoras did a cover for George Lucas' "American Graffiti," while James Beaumont recorded the song on two different revival versions of the Broadway musical "Grease."
Despite countless requests, it has never been officially recorded by The Hong Kong Cavaliers. -Reno
I just noticed a funny fact : During the movie introduction sequence the control team give some coordinates to doctor banzai. these coordinates are supposedly the jet car position.
From the script:
HB88, this is Control. IMU
alignment in progress. We show 28
degrees, 36 minutes, 30.3 seconds
north, 80 degrees, 36 minutes, 14.8
seconds west, over.
Well I just used google earth to check these coordinates... It's the position of the launch pad 39A at the kennedy space center. Launch Complex 39-A. Launch Complex 39's Pad A and Pad B were originally designed to support the Apollo program and were modified for Space Shuttle launch operations.I don't know if anyone had noticed this before but I share it just in case. Best regards,
-Franck ROSTAIN, AKA blue blazer irregular MONACO NINJA
Dear Monaco: I asked Perfect Tommy about it, and he said, "Doesn't everybody know that?" -R
Hi there: Don't know if you got this yet, but there is a nice little interview up at Moonstone's site with BB comic's Editor-in-Chief Joe Gentile, penciler Stephen Thompson, and inker Keith Williams. People can find it at: http://www.moonstonebooks.com/interviewTeamBanzai.asp -Dan
Blue Blaze Irregulars Uqbar and Arclight both sent this link our way. It's a terrific interview with the three creators of the upcoming Buckaroo Banzai comic book from Moonstone. I'll step out of character this one time, and let the interview speak for itself. -R
Dear Reno, How can I become an official Blue Blazer Irregular? -Marty
Dear Marty: To quote the official brochure, "At the moment there are no less than 6,000 active Blue Blaze Irregulars world wide - men, women, and children who attend selected symposia at the Banzai Institute, who submit their bodies periodically to rugged physical training at such places as the desert survival school in Nevada, the mountaineering school in Alaska, and a half-dozen others around the globe; who are required yearly to make certain educational advancements; who are "on call" twenty-four hours a day to help B. Banzai in a pinch, or their neighbors in a natural disaster. Blue Blazes are, when all is said, ordinary and yet extraordinary people."
Actually, we do hope to be able to accept online applications at some point in the future. At the moment, however, plans are still held up by the outbreak of mad penguin disease at the Antarctic station. I believe there is still a fan website that serves as an unofficial registrar of BBI "handles." -R
Dear Reno: It is with great sadness that I pass on the news I just heard. Vincent Schiavelli has passed away. Here's links to two of the stories.
Aside from playing John O'Connor in TABB, he also shares a Highlander connection like several other cast members, turning in a memorable performance in the "Innocent Man" episode of the television series. He'll be missed. -ArcLight BBI#621
Thank you, Arclight. Arguably one of the finest character actors of our time, Vincent Schiavelli's resume reads like a litany of modern film culture. From huge classics like Amadeus and Ghost to rampant silliness like Death to Smoochy and Dorf on Golf to genre favorites like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Highlander, M.A.N.T.I.S., Buffy, and of course, the nocturnally appreciative John O'Connor. Mrs. Johnson just stepped in to remind me that his three books are a delight for those who enjoy Itialian cooking. We offer our condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones. -R.
Reno - A happy Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Solstice/Ramadan to all you guys at the Institute. Like a lot of others who grew up following the adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, my holiday still isn't complete without popping in my trusty old copy of "The Hong Kong Cavaliers Save Christmas" at least once. My favorite part is still when you pose as Sankt Nikolaus to confound the evil army of Krampusse unleashed by Hanoi Xan. But to this day I still wonder, did you voice the animated Reno Nevada yourself? -Cailte
Cailte Cailte Cailte; This time of year someone always brings up that well-intentioned, but ill-fated animated special as if to purposely remind me of my all-too human frailties. My only consolation was that Perfect Tommy ended up as the back end of the donkey in the Festivus reenactment. Let's all say it together, "Hee-haw, my ass." But to answer your question, the voice you hear from the animated Reno was none-other than the multi-talented, but alas now departed Mel Blanc. (And for those keeping track, Buckaroo's voice was Frank Welker, Perfect Tommy was Don Messick, and Hanoi Xan was the inimitable James Hong.)
The Happiest of Holidays to all. -R
Reno: Recently, some concerns were expressed on the World Watch On-Line e-mail list regarding how exactly one can get their hands on a copy of the upcoming BB preview comic. I shot Joe Gentile over at Moonstone Books an e-mail yesterday to help clarify the availability issue. This is what he had to say:
"The BB preview will be available to any comic shop in the US and beyond who order it from Diamond, FM, or COLD CUT. As to how many units will be printed, that really depends on how many are ordered. Fans need to tell their local shops that they are interested in BB! For those living in an area without a comic shop, or in the event that their local store will not carry the issue, people can purchase a copy either through a mail order comic shop, an on-line comic shop, or at the Moonstone booth at the conventions we attend, or direct from Moonstonebooks.com!"
So there you have it! Moonstone isn't making the BB preview hard to find because, well, if they did, it wouldn't be much of a preview. Make sure to let your local comic store know you're interested in a copy! -Big Shoulders
Thanks for the update, Big Shoulders! -R
UPDATE 11/09: Big Shoulders informs us that Joe Gentile has confirmed that Issue #1 of Buckaroo Banzai: Return of the Screw will hit the shelves in April of 2006! -R
Hey there Reno, Caught back up with the gang and the Canadian branch of the Irregulars at Dragoncon. Is it still possible to bring my dim sum recipes and sake back to the fold? Moto Mama and Pixie did ya proud. They got me back in. -Skates
Greetings Skate; You're always welcome back ... especially if you come bearing dim sum and sake. Mrs. Johnson says she's been holding your royalty checks from the Bunkhouse Cookbook sales. -R
We thought folks might like the skinny on the BB fan table at this year's Dragon*Con over Labor Day weekend. Here's what we have for you:
Briefly, the table was a hit! On Friday, Pixisticks Galore managed to snag a spot directly across from the Art Show entrance and in the middle of the thoroughfare. Moto Mama arrived with a Team Banzai banner and assorted goodies on Saturday morning and set up shop. We kept the "Team March" on a loop playing over and over, offering profuse apologies to our TT20 tablemates and the author at the table next door. We undoubtedly drove them nuts, but they said it was fine.
The music drew Banzai fans to the table like bees to honey. People would walk by, stop, look around to see where the sound was coming from, and hone in on the table with expressions of amazement on their faces. And the table looked fantastic. One fellow was so excited to see the Oscillation Overthruster replica on display, Pixisticks thought he was going to require clean underwear. The mini-watermelon at the table was a big attention-getter too. It received lots of "What's that watermelon doing there?" comments, especially after we tied a BB headband around it!
Visitors were treated to a number of great handouts. The Japanese jelly candies that Moto Mama brought were a great hit. Chicken in a Watermelon recipe cards, flyers, Banzai Institute pens, and Team Banzai bumper stickers all flew off the table; to the point where we had to keep an eye on those items. Some people tried to take handfuls. People enjoyed looking through the binder of art from the upcoming BB graphic novel, but most of the fans were simply amazed to find that they weren't alone in their admiration of Dr. Banzai's work. Some were just happy to have finally found someone who knew how to properly respond to, "Remember; no matter where you go..."
We really enjoyed talking to all of the people who stopped by, and there was certainly a steady stream of interest. The pens, recipe cards, and bumper stickers were gone by Sunday afternoon. All in all, it was a definite success. We were even told by several people that our table made the whole weekend worthwhile! This was very much a team effort. Many thanks to BBIs Big Shoulders, Dragon, Lowlight, Agate, Sharkey, and Joe Gentile of Moonstone Books for all of their contributions! -Moto Mama and Pixisticks Galore
Dear Moto and Pixi- Thanks for the great report, and for all your efforts on behalf of the Banzai Institute and the over-arcing cause of freedom. I passed your report along to Buckaroo when he called in from Biloxi this morning, and he asked me to tell you, "Well done," and to remind Moto Mama that he's still counting on her to supervise the Combat Driver Training and Frisbee Competition during the second weekend in December. -R
Hi there, Dang, made a little error in the Dragon*Con message to y'all. The fan tables will actually be housed in "The Marriott Marquis' capacious Ballroom Level pre-function area..." Sorry, one part of the on-line brochure said one thing and, you get the idea.
Also wanted to mention that members of needcoffee.com and One Tusk Productions will be at the convention sitting on various panels, running a late night movie marathon, and representing Moonstone Books at the convention. I think they have a few Moonstone related goodies to give away, perhaps even a Buckaroo Banzai tee-shirt or two. Wish I could be at the convention myself, but hoping that everyone attending has a great time.
It is sad that this year's convention falls under the shadow of what can only be one of the most terrible natural disasters ever to have visited our nation. Good luck to Buckaroo and the crew in Biloxi. May all of us find a moment of courage, charity, and unity to reach out in whatever way we are able and help bring those on the brink of despair back into the light. - Dan Berger
Thanks for the update, Dan. Years ago Rawhide and I had a close shave with an unsavory underworld character who went by the name One Tusk. Please exercise caution. -R
Hey Reno, We need to do something about the Hurricane in New Orleans. Any suggestions? -BBI Micky Maus
To quote Ming Tzu, "To stop the wind is to pretend at God." There's not enough room in the Jet Car for all of us to join the Strike Team that is flying in with supplies. But we can all take a look at our finances and our personal blessings, and each of us decided if we can make a little extra donation to the American Red Cross or one of the other fine emergency services and charitable agencies. On behalf of those in need, thank you. -R
Hi Reno, Just a heads up to let those of you going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend know that there will be a Buckaroo Banzai fan table at the show this year! The table is being put together by BBI Moto Mama and BBI PixyStix Galore in conjunction with the folks from TT20, a Canadian science fiction convention held annually in Toronto. Fan tables are located on the Hyatt Concourse. Preview art form the forthcoming Buckaroo Banzai comic book will be on hand, as well as a number of other BB related goodies. Stop on by if you get the chance! -Big Shoulders
Hey Dan! Thanks for the heads-up. It's always great to see the Blue Blaze Irregulars out in force. Buckaroo was planning to stop by Dragon*Con, but he just got a special request from the Red Cross. Looks like we'll be flying in to Biloxi with a load of food, clothes and blankets. I hope you all stay safe and dry in Atlanta, as hurricane Katrina moves inland. -R
Hi Reno, I just noticed another reference to Dr. Banzai's docudrama in the entertainment industry. As an introduction to the episode "Wishbone" of Cartoon Network's The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Mandy quoted the good doctor with "Evil, pure and simple from the eighth dimension." Proof that the good doctor has fans everywhere. - Chuck
Dear Chuck; Thanks for keeping an eye open. With so many supporters of Buckaroo's philosophies in the entertainment business and around the world, "Banzai Spotting" cou become a full-time job. By the way, a special note to BBIs in the Los Angeles area: Seems that one of the local TV stations, KCOP-13, will be airing our favorite docudrama on Saturday, August 27, 2005 at High Noon. I know that most of us already have the Collector's Edition DVD, but it might be fun to tune in anyway, especially if you're a Nielson family. I've already programmed my TiVO!-R
Hello Reno, I am looking to assemble a replica of Buckaroo's pilot suit as worn in the Jet Car... can you please direct me to the right resources? Patches, insignia, footwear, head-band... head-to-toe! Thanking you, Cpl. Dom Beaudoin
Dear Corporal; The costume worn by Peter Weller in the 1984 docudrama is fairly accurate to Buckaroo's own pilot suit, worn during supersonic tests and concerts at Wembley Stadium. Part parachute jump suit / part Soviet test pilot gear / part donated by Rick Springfield from his "Don't Talk to Strangers" music video, the suit has been greatly modified over the years, sometimes for a specific mission and more often to make repairs (you can't get yak blood out of leather and nylon). As for the patches and insignia, those are easily obtained from our friends at http://www.starland.com/bb/index.html. Sorry I can't be more help. -R
Hey there Reno: I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but astronomers have, apparently, officially discovered Planet 10.
Apparently, it is much larger than Pluto. -Xlent63
Dear Xlent63: At this point, there is no cause for concern. Our contacts at NASA assure us that this object is probably NOT the 8th dimensional home of the Lectroids that we encountered some time ago. But we'll keep our ears to the ground, just in case. -R
Anniversaries are usually considered to be events inspiring looks backward. Somehow, though, it seems that we've had enough of those. I would like, on this first trip around the sun into into a new decade of Banzai memories, to look forward.
I like to believe that we can look forward to seeing the Institute, its staff, and its inimitable leader, casting heroic shadows as the spotlight once again picks them out. While security concerns and the deep cover under which Team Banzai currently must cloak their endeavors are understandable in the short term, I have high hopes that one day their stories may once again be told; that compromise of international security will no longer be a consideration, that those whose names must now be kept secret will no longer be in jeopardy, that the Team's riveting tales of outrageous gambles, desperate measures, rewarding losses and heartbreaking victories will finally be recountable, and that their long labors in the twilight world of espionage and international intrigue will finally and again have their day in the sun.
In the meantime, a songwriter friend of mine (whose work I think Dr. Banzai might enjoy) has a line on his latest CD, "If in between these two extremes is what life is all about, it might be a whole lot easier to wait 'till the movie comes out." %-/
Perhaps. In the meantime, I echo many of the sentiments previously expressed among us. I am grateful for most of the memories my small association with the Institute has left me, am very glad of those friendships I still enjoy, and have learned to let the silence take the rest. And to those like Arclight, who hold the torch high and serve the BBIs with integrity and good will, my deepest appreciation and respect.
I trust that the Institute has many more decades ahead of it than behind, and that the future holds only bright lights and open doors for Dr. Banzai, the Institute and its staff, and our revered documentarians.
Dear Hollywood: "Silence takes the rest." -R
Happy Anniversary. There's hardly a day that goes by where I don't think about Buckaroo and all the opportunities that have opened up for me because of him and his film. As I sit in my studio and see his signed picture on my wall, I am very thankful for everything that he and everyone at the Institute (especially Hollywood) has done for me. I owe much of my success to it. - Clyde
P.S. Tell Imperfect Tommy that I still have the tape of him in the porta-potty in Mexico. If he doesn't stop the "strike team" visits at 3am, I send the tape to a certain gossip reporter at FOX News.
Dear Clyde; I think it is safe to say that none of us would be where we are without Buckaroo Banzai. Besides the obvious revelation that the human race would have been exterminated countless times if not for his efforts, for many of us his impact has been more personal, more direct, even profound. His example runs through our lives like George Bailey; trickling down to those we touch and those who touch us. For all of us here at the Banzai Institute; for W.D. Richter, Earl Mac Rauch and all the talented men and women who created the docudrama released on this day in 1984; for Hollywood who saved the fan mail from the studio incinerator; for Catnip and Illinois Kate who helped her answer it all; for Silver Fox and Clyde and John Howling Mouse and Fern and Carol and Leni and Michelle and all the others who formed the grassroots movement that is continued today by Figment, Arclight, Dragon, Abacus, Renegade, the Cyclone Rangers, and so many others across the internet and around the world ... for the People of Earth great and small, we take note of this day and tip our Stetsons to Buckaroo Banzai. -R
P.S. Tommy says the strike teams were Pinky's idea, and Darie Alexander is on his side.
Thanks to Rathany who wrote: "Heya, Looks like there are some TABB fans amoung the writers of the show Stargate-SG1. The new main character, Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell said 'No matter where you go, there you are' Buckaroo Banzai said that' during last week's episode. That quote gets used alot, but it is nice to see it credited to the Boss."
I, too, saw that episode, and had a sweet moment envisioning Teal'c watching The Adventures courtesy of Daniel Jackson, who surely would know and love the movie. In another reality, Dr. Jackson might well have been a valued member of the Institute's staff, and Drs. Banzai and Hikita would have been honored consultants on the Stargate project.
But then, perhaps not, and for the best. Perfect Tommy would have tinkered with the MALP, which was never designed to go through a wormhole at Mach whatever; Reno and Billy Travers would have wanted to upgrade the computer interface to the distress of Siler and his crew; Teal'c would have taken a dim view of an institute where the security team allows big pink boxes to come over the wall without question; Rawhide and O'Niell would have compared dismal notes on cryogenics; and Mrs. Johnson would have had conspiratorial talks with Sam and Dr. Frasier about the idiocy of men, leaving the male personnel of both institutes edgy over all the whispering and snarky giggles.
However, on the eve of the 21st anniversary of The Documentary, it's nice to know that some engineers of popular culture have not forgotten those who kept the world free for their own alternate realities to find an audience.
-Hollywood (who thoroughly enjoyed this small homage....)
What can be added except, "Chevron One, Encoded." -R
Heya, Looks like there are some TABB fans amoung the writers of the show Stargate-SG1. The new main character, Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell said "'No matter where you go, there you are' Buckaroo Banzai said that" during last week's episode. That quote gets used alot, but it is nice to see it credited to the Boss. Hope all is well you you and yours, -Rathany
Heya Reno, Long time no type! Didn't know if out far flung Blue Blazers had heard about this, and you hadn't mentioned it, so I thought I'd share! http://team.gobanzai.com/index.html Go check it out. I'll be here when you get back... Oh, you're done! Good. Isn't that just cool? Great to see that the bosses associate, Dr. John Choi, (who co-founded the west coast branch of the Institute,) is finally taking that conversation that he was part of at the institute spring picnic a couple years ago seriously, (Buckaroo was joking about developing an automatic pilot system in in the Jet Car, and Perfect Tommy wanted to use Mac OSX so he could port his iTunes library over to it and install a kickin' stereo. Who knew that John would give it a shot? Fortunately I'd had a little too much Kouromiss that night, and forgot about it until now, otherwise I'd have probably cannibalized Tommy's ProTools recording setup and stuck it under the hood of the Fishmobile! He'd have KILLED me!) Looks like DARPA are really interested in the possiblities. Say, didn't General Catburd become a special contract consultant for them when he retired from the Joint Chiefs? So, Kudos to Dr. Choi and company. The Toureg is pretty cool, but I guess I'm a traditionalist. Should have used a Ford F-350. Anyway, hope all is well. A pretty good contingent of the Cyclone Rangers just got back from a training retreat in Greenville, OH, and we're currently recovering from that! Other than that, it's business as usual. We did a major overhaul of the website recently, and will probably have another soon to reflect what we've since picked up in Greenville! Check it out at: http://www.cyclonerangers.org We've finally published the majority of another story, (The Cyclone Rangers vs. The Evil Dr. ?) Would have been done a while back, but the statute of limitations wasn't up yet ;-) Keep in touch! Xia Xia! -Daniel "The Fish" Trout BBI Kataka
Thanks, both! More proof that the good Doctor's colleagues, fans, and supporters are ubiquitous! -R
Dear Banzai Institute, If you watch the writers' commentary of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, during that end credits/curtain-call scene, they first say that it was homage to Banzai, and then clarify that actually, it's just stolen from Banzai. They are fans, and loved that end scene of Banzai. Also, they say that Jeff Goldblum was cast after this scene was already in the script, so it is actually coincidence that he is in this. Also, I wanted to point out some other similarities. Both movies have
1. ...an international team of "misfits" in an exclusive boys club who are admired scientists
2. ...team names: Team Zissou (from the stars documentary screens) and Team Banzai
3. ...an ending curtain-call scene where the major (and minor) players come walking into the camera one by one.
4. ...simple, cheesy, wonderful electronica music throughout the film's soundtrack
5. ...Jeff Goldblum
Thanks! -Michael Schnuerle
Dear Michael: Thanks for the confirmation. Seems that Banzai fans are everywhere! (But we knew that already, didn't we?) -R
Hi. I noticed, in the Jeff Goldblum movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, that during the playing of the end credits, the main character (Steve Zissou, played by Bill Murray) marched briskly down a walkway toward the camera and was joined one or two at a time by the others, including a brisk turn onto a ship's ramp. This was too similar to the end of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai be ignored. My guess is that someone, such as the director or writer, is a big fan of Buckaroo Banzai. The fact that Jeff Goldblum was a part of this end-credits-walk was probably no coincidence and may even have been suggested by him or, at least, dittoed by him. It would be interesting to know the story behind this. If you can use your extensive connections to find anything out about it, I think that it would be fun to know and share. My best, Dave Cloyd
Dear Dave: We noticed that, too. Unfortunately, our e-mails to director Wes Anderson and to Jeff Goldblum went unanswered. We fear it has something to do with Perfect Tommy's tendency to be a little too enthusastic with his fashion advice, expecially to those who might not share his tastes. Nevertheless, no less than six reviewers have noted the Banzai homages, not only in the end credits, but in the film itself. Obviously, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. -R
Big Shoulders here. Seems like it wasn't so long ago that we were cooking up a 20th anniversary edition of World Watch One along with the odd chicken in a watermelon. Now, with the prospect of a brand new Buckaroo Banzai adventure looming on the horizon, it's time to saddle up again.
The next issue is already shaping up to be a doozy. Coverage includes an in-depth look at Heroes in Trouble; the long lost television show proposed by Earl Mac Rauch and W.D. Richter in 1986 and conceived in the spirit of Buckaroo Banzai. Other articles include a follow up interview with W.D. Richter, a look into Buckaroo's return to comic books, and a few other surprises.
How about you? Have an idea for an article? Artwork? A little something for the Bulletin Board? Figured out what dark matter is? Let us know! E-mail us at Uqbar101@aol.com and BluBlazDragon@aol.com.
Need a copy? Of course you do! Send your snail mail address to the e-mail addresses above for a copy. For those of you already on our mailing list, please contact us in the event that your address has changed.
Missed the last issue? Not a problem. The 20th anniversary edition of World Watch One is now available in pdf format at the World Watch OnLine website. Just go to http://www.worldwatchonline.com/library.htm and scroll about half way down the page.
-Dan "Big Shoulders" Berger, Alan "Dragon" Smith
Reno- Just watched Independence Day and realized that a rift from the Banzai Theme was "sneaked in" when Jeff Goldblum explained his theory how to breach the aliens' force field. Would like to know if it was my imagination or not. -Colin Tan
Dear Colin- You have a good ear, but I think this is more a case of wishful thinking. After Goldblum demonstrates the virus and is about to activate the alien flight mechanism, the melodic lead-in of the first three notes is the same as Michael Bodicker's now familiar Banzai March used in the 1984 docudrama. But after those notes, the progression continues in a different direction, although still with a martial theme. Further similarity is added because David Arnold's ID4 melody begins with a lone piccolo, not unlike the single high-pitch notes used throughout Bodicker's work.
Along the same lines, see if you can find a copy of the 1985 film Into the Night starring Goldblum and Michelle Pfieffer. I won't spoil it for you because it's a movie worth seeing, but my recollection is that you want to pay special attention to the scene near the end, when Goldblum gets into the red sports car.
It's been a while since I've reviewed that film, but drop me a note and let me know if I'm right. -R
Dear Reno, BBI 1558 'Savoyard' here. Just want to pass on the word that in addition to SETI@Home, the Institute is working with climateprediction.net: http://climateapps2.oucs.ox.ac.uk/cpdnboinc/index.php BBIs can join me on the Lab team:
http://climateapps2.oucs.ox.ac.uk/cpdnboinc/team_display.php?teamid=537 BBIs are aware that results were recently published in Nature magazine
(27 Jan 05). http://www.climateprediction.net/science/pubs/nature_first_results.pdf It's an important problem and I'm sure that other BBIs want to help with
this research. You can run both programs at the same time, I do. -- Savoyard
Dear Savoyard: Very cool! Distributed network computing allows just about all of us to make a real contribution to important scientific research. By the way, I understand that SETI@Home will switch over to the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing at some point in the not-so-distant future. -R
Dear Reno: I was thrilled to read about the forthcoming Buckaroo Banzai graphic novel in development at Moonstone. It's been too long since I've been able to enjoy the latest issue. One question: Can you tell me anything about the story? Is it based on the old BB Versus The World Crime League script? Or is it from the long-rumored new BB novel from Earl Mac Rauch? Thanks, -BBI Weldon Rumproast
Dear Weldon: I've just conferred with W.D. Richter, and he absolutely refused to comment on the matter at this time, citing the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. The only thing he'd say for the record was to emphatically deny the Internet rumor that it'll be based on the director's cut of Oliver Stone's Alexander. -R
Hi Reno, Big Shoulders here. Life has been pretty busy around the bureau offices lately. For some reason, the World Watch wire is crackling like the third rail on the Chicago "L" these days. Something must be up, because we are now completely out of the 20th anniversary edition of World Watch One. I have my suspicions, but let's just say that demand for the newsletter spiked this week and leave it at that. Fortunately, BBI ArcLight has enthusiastically agreed (Thanks, Arc!) to make the 20th anniversary edition available on his World Watch OnLine website in pdf format. We will attempt to sort out the necessary technical mumbo-jumbo by month's end. Stay tuned. - Big Shoulders
Thanks! I'm sure there are more than a few BBIs who weren't able to get the hardcopy version who will appreciate access to the latest issue via the Internet. -R
Reno: Like other BBIs, I've been following the news of the South Asia earthquake and tsunami with shock and horror. What can I do to help? -BBI Tin Tin
Dear Tin Tin: There are numerous aid organizations that are sending food, supplies, medicines, doctors, relief workers, to the victims of this terrible tragedy. You can join the international relief efforts by making a monetary donation to one or more of these groups. There's a number of links to aid charities on the Institute News page. Thank you for caring. -R
The Institute recently became aware that alleged personal correspondence and original art attributed to W.D. Richter is being offered for sale on EBay by an individual claiming to be his first cousin. I queried Rick, and he informs us that he has no relation named "Marty" and has never painted a picture in his life. He says this merchandise is obviously fraudulent and cautions potential buyers against being conned by the person offering it for sale.
Big Shoulders here. Dragon and I just wanted to pass along a big "Thank You!" to all of the kind people who have sent us their praises for the 20th Anniversary edition of World Watch One. You made our day!
Big thanks are also in order for the tireless efforts of all those Blue Blaze Irregulars, Team Banzai members, and concerned everyday citizens who contributed their time and talents to make the newsletter what it is. You guys know who you are. We couldn't have done it without you!
We still have a few (very few) issues of the newsletter floating around the Chicago and Portland Bureaus, along with some extra bonus materials. If you missed the boat, you can request a copy by e-mailing your snail mail address to either Uqbar101@aol.com (Big Shoulders) or BluBlazDragon@aol.com (Dragon). We're probably down to our last seven or eight copies, so don't wait if you have a notion to get one. Gear up and go!
It also appears that we will be revving up for another issue after the holidays. Feel free to send all things Banzai -- be they drawings, essays, interviews, or what have you, to the e-mail addresses above.
Thanks again, Big Shoulders
Dear Big Shoulders and Dragon- Let me add my thanks and congratulations on a job very well done. In one big swoop you have captured the fun and dedication of the early days of the Blue Blaze Irregulars, while maintaining the level of accuracy and professionalism required by the exciting times in which we live. I encourage everyone to find a few minutes to submit something for the next issue. Like democracy and horse racing, it's more fun when you participate. Oh, and while I'm not at liberty to discuss details, I can say that the secret BBI decoder ring (included with the 20th anniversary edition of World Watch One) recently played a vital role in averting a potential national security crisis, despite the fact that my ring appeared to be clogged with watermelon seeds.-R
Hi Reno, On the subject of "Since I Don't Have You," I just wanted to add that a great article about this song appeared in the April 1986 issue of World Watch One. A copy of this issue, along with other vintage issues of World Watch One, can be downloaded at http://www.worldwatchonline.com/library.htm. Hope that helps, Richard. All the best, Dan "Big Shoulders" Berger
Big Shoulders; Thanks for the reminder. And for the trip down memory lane as I reread all the World Watch One newsletters from those days of fried chicken and Jolt cola; days that seem not so long ago. For those who only became familiar with Buckaroo Banzai after the invention of the internet and DVDs, I suggest you take a look at how a small group (a very small group) started answering fan mail on weekends and sparked a flame that still burns today. -R
Hello Banzai Institute, What is the name of the song that Dr. Buckaroo Banzai sings to Pretty Penny in the docudrama made in 1984? - Richard, Irregular from Florida
Dear Richard; The song is called, "Since I Don't Have You," and it was written in 1958 by Joe Rock and Jimmy Beaumont. The story goes that Rock wrote the lyrics in his car between stoplights, in honor of the girlfriend who just left him. Beaumont wrote the music the next night and they recorded it with his group, The Skyliners. Besides The Hong Kong Cavaliers, it has also since been recorded by Don McLean, Art Garfunkle, and Guns & Roses, among others. -R
Dear Reno: Some wonderful "family" news: Fred Koenekamp, the director of photography on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, will be receiving the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 20, 2005. %-)
Anyone who cares enough about the people who labor to make films and television to watch the credits, would have known Mr. Koenekamp's name long before Rick Richter and Buckaroo brought him on board the Institute's feature documentary project twenty years go. I remember being in junior high school, just beginning to pay attention to those lists of names, and learning Mr. Koenekamp's when I saw it almost every week in the credits of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I remember noticing even then how remarkable and unique was the camera work on that show. Mr. Koenekamp has since compiled a long list of credits, our documentary only one among many memorable titles. He will share this honor with many of my favorite artists of the lens, including Laszlo Kovacs, Haskell Wexler, Vittorio Storaro and Vilmos Zsigmond. You can read more about Mr. Koenekamp, his credits and his impending honor here: http://www.cinematography.com/index.asp?newsID=171 With deepest thanks for the many, many beautiful, exciting, original and amazing images he has given viewers over the years, this one bids him a heartfelt congratulations! -Hollywood
Dear Hollywood; Thanks for the information. It seems that sometimes we think of the job of "cameraman" as being as simple point-and-shoot. But the Cinematographer is responible for the look of the image, the lighting, the choice of wide or narrow lense, soft focus or hard ... the artistic choices are endless. Cinematography can make a good movie look lackluster, and a weak film appear brilliant. The Banzai Institute joins Hollywood (the woman and the industry) in recognizing the oustanding achievements of this true artist. -R
Greetings, Hope everything is going all right out your way. Thought you'd be amused to know I saw another Star Trek-related instance of the "No matter where you go..." quote. In the game "Star Trek: Elite Force II," it's visible on the dedication plate of the USS Dallas. There's a vidcap up on the World Watch site now. www.worldwatchonline.com, click IMAGE GALLERY, then select MISC. PHOTOS. There's also a smaller version up at what may end up being my "blog" (if I ever write anything else there) at: http://www.worldwatchonline.com/blog/ -Later... ArcLight, BBI#621, World Watch OnLine: The UnOfficial Buckaroo Banzai Mailing Lists
Dear Arclight; That Image Gallery of yours is terrific fun. I honestly had no idea the Boss' seemingly idle, yet strangely profound comment would find its way into so much of pop culture. I was only aware of the quote being on one Star Trek dedication plaque; the U.S.S. Excelsior in "Star Trek VI." Thanks for the heads up. -R
"Another candle and a trip around the sun." So Jimmy Buffett sings. And so on this twentieth anniversary, I offer my (possibly somewhat florid) thoughts for the bunkhouse wall; and also the simpler, more eloquent words of Apache, who is without cyber access at this time. Please sharpen your grease pencil and inscribe on the tile wall of the bunkhouse bathroom, on our behalf, the words below.
From a press conference twenty years ago:
BUCKAROO BANZAI: And you know what? In a hundred million years from now, that mountain in Texas might not even be there, but the space will....
Dr. Banzai was, as in most things, elegantly simple in his explanation of the theory behind the first successful test of the jet car. Still, journalists who were all too skilled in documenting the brutal conflicts of our world were left struggling to comprehend this, one of its more its enticing enigmas. I thought then, how sad that we are so knowledgeable of the tragedy of human discord and disaster, yet lack understanding of the glorious mysteries that bind our world together in large and small ways.
Ironic that mere hours later, fell circumstance would wrench the hearts and minds of the Institute's residents and friends away from the pursuit of wisdom and insight and leave us instead in bitter contemplation of that greatest mystery, which is death.
Yet even we who in those days worked shoulder to shoulder with Buckaroo and his best and brightest still believed that in the future lay realization of Rawhide's legacy and our own happily given gift to the diverse peoples of the world ... a Banzai Institute of far-reaching availability and influence, a haven for questing hearts and minds, and an example of ethnic diversity working together to provide an enduring resource to this planet's diverse populations.
Now, however, subdued retrospect seeks to infuse Buckaroo's words of that night years ago with an unhappy insight. Twenty years have passed, and it seems that the mountain is indeed gone and only the space is left behind; a terrible vacancy in our hearts and hopes. The Institute, while still vital and contributory, remains somewhat obscure. Many of the staff have moved on, albeit some to better things, but still to our great personal loss. Dr. Banzai's distinctive approach to problem-solving remains outside the norm; the extraordinary combination of talents and personalities here at the Institute remains, alas, unique.
With no imminent second opportunity to place the Institute in the limelight via the media of motion pictures or television, it may seem that the lesser hearts and minds who constantly struggle to wrest power and control away from others in their relentless pursuit of petty personal goals, disregarding and even destroying anything that they cannot comprehend as being of direct benefit to themselves, may have left our bright dream in their dust.
However, as Rawhide often said, even a horse's ass contributes something to the world, although it may seem at first that that only plants benefit from it. His dry humor gives us pause and reminds us that even though we may constantly strive to think outside the box, we still do not always succeed in seeing the bigger picture. Perhaps in the greater scheme of things, the best is indeed yet to come. If only a dream can kill a dream, it must follow that the death of one dream leaves a better, stronger vision in its place. And dreaming itself can never be destroyed.
What bright promise may lie ahead that exceeds our limited vision we cannot know, but only await in happy expectancy. Meantime, we must not forget that we live in the now, and that each new day offers new opportunities to live out the principles that draw us together in support of the Institute. Dr. Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers lead by example. As Blue Blaze Irregulars we can do no less than follow in their impressive footsteps, wishing for no greater reward than that opportunity, and doing our best to live up to their exemplary paradigm.
Be cool, but care. -Hollywood
Dear Hollywood; As usual, there is nothing I can add except kochira koso. -R
Dear Reno; I just wanted to say hey to Buckaroo and everyone at the Institute. Just remember, there may be a mountain hidden inside a mountain. There may even be a mountain hidden in hiddeness. Much love to everyone. Apache
Thank you for the kind wishes, Apache. Here's hoping you're still standing in the saddle. -R
Dr. Buckaroo Banzai
New Brunswick, New Jersey
August 10, 2004
Buckaroo, my good friend;
It is with no small amount of disbelief that I look back on the time we've known each other and realize it has been 20 years since we sat together in the screening room at the White House, awaiting the beginning of the landmark film which documented that tumultuous time in the history of our nation and the world. I am speaking of course of "Buckaroo Banzai: Against (sic) the Eighth Dimension." In these days of documentary filmmakers popping out of every political bush, all I can say is, I'm glad it was you and not me.
Commander in Chief, Ret.
Dear Mr. President- Does this mean you're not still mad at us? R
10 AUG 2004
REMINDER TO ALL CAVALIERS, APOSTLES, INTERNS, AND BLUE BLAZE IRREGULARS:
TONIGHT'S ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION HAS BEEN MOVED OUT OF THE BUNKHOUSE DUE TO THE UNEXPECTEDLY HIGH NUMBER OF RSVPS. WE WILL INSTEAD GATHER AT THE SOUTH END OF THE STABLES, WHICH PINKY SAYS WILL BE PAINTED "MOVIE SCREEN WHITE" BY 7 PM. EARL MAC RAUCH HAS SENT HIS RECIPE FOR CORONA GOLD CHILI, WHICH HE PROMISES WILL FEED 500. TO AVOID A REPEAT OF THE EVENTS OF "THE LAST STARFIGHTER" ANNIVERSARY SCREENING, PERFECT TOMMY WILL NOT BE OPERATING THE PROJECTOR.
THAT IS ALL.
-MRS. E. JOHNSON
Dear Reno; Please pass along my deepest congratulations to Messrs. Richter and Rauch on the 20th anniversary of the release of their docudrama. May we all have as many years ahead of us. -Toichi Hikita
Thank you, Professor Hikita. -R
Dear Reno, I'm sure you're covered in accolades by now, but let me add my congratulations to Buckaroo and everyone at the Institute, as well as W.D. Richter, Earl Mac Rauch and the filmmakers as we come to the anniversary of the docudrama. Those who know me will agree it is no exaggeration when I say that film changed my life. Best wishes for a new film and 20 years more. -Sharkey
Dear Sharkey; From your lips to Fox's ears. -R
Reno; Do you remember when that artist John Eaves requested the photo reference material on the Jet Car? It turns out he's designed a commemorative envelope in honor of the anniversary of the docudrama. He's offered to send one or two our way. How about we figure a way to auction them for charity? Buckaroo
Hey Boss- I'll take a look at the envelopes and post an announcement in the next day or so. R
Dear Reno; Who knew that a conversation over fermented mares milk would result in so much fun and commotion? Here's to 20 years of celluloid memories. What do you say we do it again? All the best, W.D. Richter
Dear Rick- Buckaroo was commenting again this morning about how pleased he was with your direction and Mac's script. Rest assured, the Banzai Institute will be here when Hollywood is ready! -R
Happy Anniversary to Buckaroo, Reno, Rick, Mac, Hollywood, Catnip and everyone else who either helped create this place, spread the word about it, or just got to kick back with us and enjoy it. I am honored for having had the chance to find the good Dr. Banzai and his wonderful world, and I'm very appreciative of all the wonderful characters I've met along the way. I will always be extremely grateful for the opportunities it has lead me to. I can honestly say I am in a better place because of it. Thanks! Let's rock and roll! - Clyde
And we can't thank you enough for all the wonderful sounds you've provided the world (not to mention all the photocopying in those early days.) -R
To All: SUCCESS AT LAST! For those who have long wondered, "What's that watermelon doing there?" your wait is over. Check out the Banzai Institute Breaking News page! -R
Dear Reno- With the 20th anniversary of the release of our beloved docudrama fast approaching, the conversation turned to the exact premiere date. Most of the informational web sites list August 15, but those of us who saw the film on opening night remember it as August 10. Is there any chance you recall when the film opened? -Sharkey
Dear Sharkey- Through bitter experience I have discovered that one source may get a vital piece of information wrong, yet many others quote that source without checking the facts for themselves. Such is often the case with the miracle that is the internet. Since my own recollection is somewhat hazy on the matter, I put in a call to the film's director, W.D. Richter. Rick said, and I quote, "Felt to me like it opened February 30th. Don't ever let it be said I wasn't there when you guys needed me. Check with Hollywood or Catnip. They'll have the from-now-on-official release date. Give or take."
August 10 it is. -R
Hi, kids - Let's all send a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY today (6/24) to our friend and colleague Peter Weller, who portrayed our fearless leader in our favorite movie (And no, Tommy, I don't mean "Spice World," no one else likes it but you). - Clyde
Thanks for the reminder, Clyde. Many happy returns, Mr. Weller. May your electrocarburation seem fine. -R
Reno, I thought I might share [a story] with the Institute and my fellow Blue Blaze Irregulars. Some time ago, I submitted an e-mail to my workplace division's Administrative Assistant with an inspirational quote. Since Dr. Banzai can always be counted on to rally the troops in times of need (such as the Yoyodyne Incident), it came as no suprise to me that our AA forwarded Dr. Banzai's quote out, not only to my market, but the ENTIRE Southern US Division of T-Mobile USA. :) The e-mail that was sent out on my behalf to my company; "No matter where you go, there you are." :) Sincerely Yours, Josh "Chatterbox" Maerker, Blue Blaze Irregulars, World Watch 1 Observation Team, Mississippi Gulf Coast Offices
Dear Chatterbox- Buckaroo asked me to express his pride in the work you're doing to "rally the troops" in your sizeable portion of this country. -R
Hi Reno, Big Shoulders here from World Watch One's Chicago Bureau. I just wanted to pass along a few notes regarding the 20th anniversary edition of the newsletter currently in production. Many thanks are in order for everyone who has stepped up to contribute their time and talents to the upcoming issue of World Watch One thus far. All of the articles, interviews, haikus and bulletin board postings have just been outstanding. Keep 'em comin'! Our current deadline for submissions is August 1 so if you have a notion to send us something over the wire, get to it! We'd love to hear from ya!
You'll all be glad to know that things are shaping up nicely. Highlights from the present table of contents include interviews with W.D. Richter and Billy Vera, an article by Sean Murphy of Buckaroo Banzai FAQ fame, Mrs. E. Johnson's very own Cinnamon Bun recipe, and the essential Jr. Blue Blaze Cryptography Set. It's just like an Enigma Machine in your pocket!
Want a copy? Have something to send us? Done. Just e-mail BBI Dragon at BluBlazDragon@aol.com. Want to send us something but you're not sure what? No big thing. Just e-mail Big Shoulders at Uqbar101@aol.com. Got a problem? Blame it on the Death Dwarves.
-All the best. Dan "Big Shoulders" Berger, Alan "Dragon" Smith
Dear Big Shoulders- This is great news. Mrs. Johnson asked to remind you that the cinnamon bun recipe is meant to feed 75 people, so she recommends you do the long division before publishing. And for those who haven't sent something in, what are you waiting for? Even if it's just a reminiscence about the first time you saw the docudrama or how much fun you had on Rawhide's Siberian survival training course or the time you had to suck snake venom from Perfect Tommy's left buttock (you know who you are). What's the latest update on World Crime League activity in your particular patrol region? Let Big Shoulders and Dragon hear about it. You're on the clock. Saddle up. -R
Dear Reno, Had a dream last night which has me puzzled and concerned. I thought you might run it by the noggin fellas at the Institute. I'm walking through a swarm of beautiful, clockwork butterflies which make a noise which is actually an odor; like cigarettes. I feel calm but my heart is beating like a card shuffle. As I walk, I see treetops below me and a river above. I want to join the river but I soon see that the butterflies ARE the river. Then, from what I know to be the West, comes a Geisha riding a giraffe. She is nodding and smiling at me. She wants to know about my work and tells me that she is the secret-keeper. I want to tell her everything I know; from my schooldays through my research with the Institute. We make love, but in my arms she becomes a hen. Her head falls off and she runs off laughing. That's the dream. But, when I awoke, damned if my bed wasn't in a different position, no longer facing my luck corner. It was in the middle of the room facing east. That's what made me contact you, Reno. Ask around for me, would you? It's got me worried. Thanks, pard. Dr. Pioter Yaychdee, BBI #4,208
Dear Pioter; Professor Hikita suggests you consult with Dr. Samantha Witwer at the Epoch Sleep Institute in Vancouver, and use his name. Perfect Tommy thinks you should lay off the borscht before bedtime. I say just nail your bed to the floor. -R
Dear Reno: <<Those are some big shoes to fill>> Hey, now. I may have a size 10 shoe, but you don't have to make such a big deal out of it. ;-) Let the record show that I started pretty late in the game -- Hollywood really paved the way. Wouldn't have been there at all without an invite from her. -Clyde P.S. Tell Mrs. J. I'm still waiting for the official certificate of declassified audio so Ben can use the sound of the Planet 10 "hairdryer" in Episode III.
Dear Reno; It was polite of you to include me on the list of the original creators of the World Watch One, but the truth is I arrived on the scene much later than Hollywood, Catnip, Illinois Kate, and the rest. My contribution was limited to making some photocopies and running to Pink's for breakfast chili dogs. The real creative energy and ingenuity belongs to them. And I wish the best of luck to Dragon and Big Shoulders for taking on this worthy endeavor. My only suggestion is that they keep the fridge stocked with Jolt Cola. It helps. -Sharkey
Dear Clyde and Sharkey; I'm sure I speak for the founders of the fan club when I thank you for your kind words. I join you, along with Buckaroo and W.D. Richter, in singing their praises. -R
Dear Reno, About a month ago I downloaded the SETI@home project after seeing it promoted on the Banzai Institute website. I then joined the Banzai team on the SETI site. I am very pleased to help this scientific endeavor and am proud to be on the team that honors Dr. Banzai. Is it possible to see the Banzai team SETI standings on the Banzai Institute website? Sincerely, Charles
Dear Charles: Thank you for joining the growing number of Institute members who are participating in the scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence! Currently, there are some 57 BBIs who donate their spare computer time by running the SETI@Home screensaver. They represent the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Germany. As of 4/16/04, the Banzai Institute members have donated some 61.816 years of CPU time, during which they have performed number crunching on some 42282 SETI work units. Of course, if we'd all started this sooner, maybe we would have known about Planet 10 early enough to avoid all that unpleasantness with those Red Lectroids a few years back.
For up-to-the-minute Banzai Instute SETI statistics, please go to: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/stats/team/team_161712.html.
For more information on the Banzai Institute's SETI team, including information on how to download the screensaver and how to sign up, check out the Institute News page. -R
Dear Reno: Twenty years ago, Blue Blaze Irregulars were kept informed on crucial Institute updates through the use of an invaluable resource, which appeared in mailboxes around the globe -- the World Watch One newsletter (Approved for distribution to Grade B Clearances).
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the docudrama, we announce the return of World Watch One for a special issue. Most of the names on the masthead have changed, but the newsletter carries on with the unswerving assistance of those who first brought it into this world: most notably, docudrama producer/director W. D. Richter, as well as other Institute personnel.
Now is the time for our fellow Blue Blaze Irregulars to step forward and make themselves heard. The original World Watch One was greatly enriched by the contributions of BBIs just like you. We ask that you send articles, mission updates, recipes, cartoons, or anything Banzai related. Be creative. Be fun.
For submission guidelines, or if you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter, please e-mail BBI Dragon at BluBlazDragon@aol.com. If you think, "I'd like to do my part, but I don't know how I can help," contact BBI Big Shoulders at Uqbar101@aol.com for suggestions and moral support.
World Watch One. Coming to a mailbox near you this September. Believe it.
-Dan "Big Shoulders" Berger, Alan "Dragon" Smith
Dear Guys- The original WW1 was put out by BBIs Hollywood, Catnip, Illinois Kate, Silver Fox, Sharkey, and Clyde Von Drake under the watchful eyes of W.D. Richter. Those are some big shoes to fill, but I have no doubt you're up to the task! Everyone should take a minute to jot or type or scribble something to contribute to this worthy endeavor. -R
Dear Reno- According to the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), talking about the movie "Big Trouble in Little China": The first few drafts of the movie's script were known as "Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League," the proposed sequel to "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai." For whatever reason, it was later decided to scrap the proposed sequel. The screenplay was heavily rewritten to become "Big Trouble in Little China." Obviously Kurt Russell gave the movie an entirely different flavor, though I could see this as a Buckaroo Banzai adventure. -Nicholas Christopher
Dear Nicholas: This rumor crops up more often than the scuba diver in the forest fire. While "Big Trouble" is a favorite around here, it is its own film from beginning to end. It's no surprise that it has the flavor of one of our adventures since the final screenplay was written by our favorite docudrama producer/director W.D. Richter. According to Mr. Richter, screenwriters Gary Goldman and David Weinstein created the original screenplay as a western. Director John Carpenter asked W.D. Richter to modernize it as a way of simplifying an already complex story. While this may seem a bit odd, it does explain why Jack Burton rides into the sunset on his horse (now a semi truck) instead of kissing the girl. -R
Dear Reno, It seems that Dr. Banzai's pioneering technique to implant devices into the handicapped is gaining acceptance into the mainstream medical and research communities. Has Dr. Banzai been assisting in the advancement in this area? http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/03/24/health.robotics.reut/index.html Take care, Chuck
Dear Chuck; The Boss was delighted with the opportunity to review Dr. Nicolelis' data, but so far hasn't "assisted" in any way except to marvel with the rest of the world. -R
Reno- Do you remember the conversation I had with Aggie where she promised I could have all of Lewis Smith's wardrobe after the docudrama was done? She said, "How can I resist those eyes?" Right? Well, now it's on Ebay!(http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=52933&item=2230172945) Did you arrange this? Who can we call to fix this?! -Perfect Tommy
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. You can log onto Ebay and bid like everyone else. And don't blame me or the costume designer, Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Your "eyes" not withstanding, these decisions are made by the film studio. I just think it's terrific they're making it available. Maybe I'll ask Mrs. Johnson to pass the idea along to the accounting fellas. Think how much we could get for those silver sequined, 12-inch platform shoes you wore at the Elton John charity concert! -R
Dear Reno; Looks like we have another contender for Planet 10 on our hands. Thought this might be of interest to the Institute. Now we just have to wait and see if they lump this in with the Kuiper Belt objects or not. All the best, Dan Berger http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13841
Dear Dan; Thanks for the heads up on "Sedna" though I prefer to stay away from the argument of whether or not this is the real official tenth planet (which may or may not be Planet X). And for the record, Pinky Caruthers once tried to duplicate Mrs. Johnson's recipe for cinnamon buns. The result was unanimously lumped in with the Kuiper Belt objects. -R
Dear Reno; I found a net-film being produced by some Star Trek fans over at http://www.5yearmission.com. It looks pretty good. Any chance of such a thing being done for the Banzai Institute? -Jordan
Dear Jordan; I took a look at that site and I must agree. The production value is terrific -- very professional looking. But best of all, did you notice their plug for the Space Shuttle Children's Trust Fund? Of all the many worthy charities, this one if near the top of the list around here. -R
Dear Reno, On what would have been his 47th birthday, and little more than a week after the sixth anniversary of his untimely death in an auto accident on February 6th in 1998, I would like to take this time to remember the Austrian rocker Hans Hölzel, who was better known to the world as Falco. Those of us who still love and listen to the music of this brilliant lyricist and bassist will always hold a special place for him in our hearts. Somewhere in the Great Beyond, Hansi is still rapping that beat! Thanks, ---Cait Sidhe
Dear Cait: The self-proclaimed "Godfather of white rap," performer/songwriter Falco is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his syncopated single, "Rock Me Amadeus." Our departed brother, Rawhide, was often heard to quote Falco's summary of his troubled life: "You've got a problem when your success grows faster than the soul." Cait, I appologize to you and to Falco for taking so long to post your letter, but this humble musician can only agree. A unique talent like his will be missed. -R
Dear Reno; I was web-shopping for some Buckaroo Banzai souvenir patches when I came across Starland.com. Not only do they have a great collection of BB patches, t-shirts and pins, but it looks like this year their annual science fiction convention will be all about Buckaroo Banzai. Will anyone be attending from the Banzai Institute? -Weldon
Dear Weldon; The Hong Kong Cavaliers try to visit the Starland crowd as often as possible. Besides being among the first to license Buckaroo Banzai merchandise in those thrilling days of Yoyodyne and docudramas, they've been loyal fans in all the years since. Everyone should give their website a look (www.starland.com) and see for themselves. -R
Hey Reno, Just wanted to remind all BBIs out there to check out the Mars photos taken by Spirit. Very amazing stuff. BBI Strange Agent
Dear Strange Agent; I can only echo your sentiments and add our congratulations to the folks at NASA and at JPL. To this observer, the images from Mars seem delightfully alien while being wonderfully familiar. Take a look for yourself at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html -R
Dear Reno; Been awhile since I wrote ... let's hope 2004 is a good year for the anniversery of the BB movie! I have two questions for you. In the docudrama, you were seen using 'the scope' (I assume another Banzai Institute invention.) What is it? What is it used for? My second question; what is the title of the next BB novel, or are you privy to that information as of yet? Thanks! respectfully, cheeze80s
Dear cheeze; A happy and prosperous new year to you and everyone. I'm not sure which "scope" you're referring to. If you mean the device we/the actors all took turns peering into in the green room of Artie's Artery, that was Propmaster Erik Nelson's nifty version of Professor Hikita's sub-nuclear microviewer (the real thing has more blinking lights). We used it to analyze the "slides" taken by the jet car's onboard camera during its hurtling trip through the 8th Dimension. Besides simple viewing, it's adjustable to highlight different ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, subtle shifts in radiation, and variations in molecular construction. It's also how Perfect Tommy and I sorted the images in preparation for the presentation at the now infamous press conference. Think of it as a glorified ViewMaster. As for the new novel, the title is still under debate, even as the manuscript itself is being sharpend to crystal clarity. But I can state unequivocally that it will not be called, "Perfect Tommy Kicks the World Crime League's Ass!" as has been widely reported on the internet. -R
Reno, Have any plans been made to commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the docudrama? Happy Holidays, Riptide (BBI #2708)
Dear Riptide; At this point, we've gotten invitations to appear at celebrations in Ordinary, Kentucky and Normal, Illinois; in Tulsa and Tanna-Tuva; at the White House and in the High Council Chamber on Planet X. But we've had to decline them all since the Hong Kong Cavaliers have agreed to a USO tour through the entire month of August. The exact places and dates are classified for obvious reasons. If any Blue Blaze Irregulars have any plans they'd like to alert the rest of us to, of course this forum is available as always. -R
"From the hearts and heads of good men. Wishing you the Joy and the Beauty of a Great Holiday seasons. Let Peace be the norm." -Mickey Maus (BBI agent)
Well said! -R
Hola, Reno, Just read the dispatch from the Agents of Thunder. I live about 40 miles from Roswell. Any help I can offer is yours. Strange Agent
Dear Strange Agent: Your help is always appreciated. And speaking of extraterrestrials, I was pleased to notice that you recently joined the ranks of the Banzai Institute's SETI@Home team. Thanks for lending a hand there, too. -R
Reno, Best wishes for the New Year to everybody at the Institute. Is the boss endorsing anyone in the 2004 Presidential race? Agent 13.
Phantom (BBI #33537) reporting in! This is the first time we of the Agents of Thunder have reported in, but Desert Rose of the Cyclone Ranger's Rough Riders has instructed me to send her greetings. I want you to update you on two possible threats. The first is fairly simple: Upon viewing my copy of the B. Banzai docudrama, I noticed something unsettling. The Secretary of Defense's name is John. There are several possible paths here: 1, you at the Institute changed the name of the SoD during the Lectroid incident; 2, the SoD is, as the unfortunate Dr. Emilio Lizardo was, carrying a Red Lectroid. We at the Agents of Thunder would love some clarification, if the information is not still classified. The second is more recent, but far less definable. The international menace of Hanoi Xan has reached here. We have intercepted a courier who was carrying documents of welcome to one of our nemeses, a shadowy figure known to us only as El Brujo. Do the Hong Kong Cavaliers have any information we could use on El Brujo, or as to whether or not he is a member of the W.C.L.? We would love any information you guys have. Thank you, Agents of Thunder
Hi, Reno. Since an update to the Institute is long overdue, I asked Phantom to give you the specific points of interest. Here is a broader overview of what the Agents of Thunder have been involved in. You would not believe the level of paranormal activity out here. I suppose I should not be surprised. Encantado does not mean "enchanted" in the usual sense. It has connotations of "bespelled" or "ensorcelled." On a final note, I got a notice through our network of agents that something is brewing down near Roswell. I will have an agent contact the BBI network in Roswell. I understand that they have moved their base of operations to the alien museum there. Have you at the Institute heard anything different? I understand that there is a new agent in New Mexico seeking contacts. Please let Strange Agent know about the Agents of Thunder, Reno. Thanks, and all my best to you. Tell Perfect Tommy that the jacket looked better on Penny anyway. He should avoid plaids. Desert Rose (BBI #2525, RR #6, AT #1)
Dear Phantom and Desert Rose; Thank you both for the updates from great the South West. I will try to answer your concerns as briefly as possible. While there were times during the events surrounding Yoyodyne that even I had suspicions as to whose side the Secretary of Defense was really on, the simple fact is he was uncomfortable with his name being associated with our chronicles. In the novelization, it was no trouble to refer to him only by his title or simply, "Mr. Secretary." When the time came to film our exploits, docudrama director W. D. Richter and writer Earl Mac Rauch felt there were times when the interaction of characters required he be called by name. Whether by random chance or creative mischievousness, they chose "John." To your second question, a database search turned up a Juan Brujo on the payroll of the international financial cartel, World Capital Lending. Buckaroo suggests you focus your investigation there and let him know what you find. Finally, the BBIs in Roswell had to move out of the alien museum almost as soon as they moved in, since their RSE kept interfering with the radio controlled gray-head alien in the museum's close encounter reenactment (every 20 minutes, free with musuem admission.) Mrs. Johnson will tell them to contact you. In the meantime, don't forget you're all invited to drop by the Arizona facility for the New Year's Eve Apple Bobbing tournament. -R
Dear Reno, I live in the wilderness of southern New Mexico, so I've been a little out of touch with what's going on with Team Banzai. Imagine my surprise when in the span of a week, I discovered the Institute website, the special edition DVD, and the reprint of the novel! I am one happy camper, having up until now the only the Vestron VHS release of the docudrama and my battered, yet trusty copy of the original Buckaroo Banzai paperback to keep up with the exploits of Dr. Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers. Incidentally, the features on the DVD are amazing and I fervently hope that the Buckaroo Banzai TV series (reality television?) comes to fruition. Though I think I found a mistake in Pinky's otherwise excellent subtitle presentation. Wasn't it Tesla, and not Einstein, who carried out the so-called "Philadelphia Experiment" based on Einstein's Unified Field Theory? By the way, if you need an operative in New Mexico, let me know. I'm sure with Los Alamos National Labs and White Sands Missile Range, not to mention the VLA, the Institute could probably use a hand or two out here. Say Hi to the Boss for me, - Strange Agent P.S. also, thanks for the info about SETI@Home. I downloaded it right away and joined the Banzai Institute group.
Welcome back, Strange Agent. Glad you found us here, in print, and on DVD. I consider the SETI@Home project a marvelous use of otherwise idle computing power ... with a very cool screen saver. And by now you've probably seen the announcement of a new novelization in the works, chronicling what I consider one of our most challenging endeavors. Your observations regarding the research into radar invisibility conducted in the late 1930s and early 1940s are partially correct. Both both Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein were involved, as well as a brilliant mathematician and quantum theorist named John von Neumann. Professor Hikita says that, according to the scuttlebutt in the mathematics community, von Neumann did not care to be under the authority of what he called "that degreeless Hungarian." Tesla reportedly left the project in disgust, and they went on to use von Neumann's equations with results that are disputed to this day. -R
Dear Reno: I realize that the subject of the proposed Buckaroo Banzai television series is a matter that has come up in the Bunkhouse with enough repetition to be rendered downright redundant, even repetitive. And redundant too. Even so, I can't help but ask; is the series still being actively pursued? Who currently owns the rights to make future Banzai docudramas? What part, if any, have DVD sales of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension had in the promotion or negation of future projects? Can the full story of life after the docudrama finally be told in detail? Could I ask any more questions? Could I? All the best, - Dan Berger
Dear Dan: The strong sales of both MGM's Special Edition DVD of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, as well as Pocket Books' new edition of Earl Mac Rauch's novelization have not escaped the notice of watchful eyes both in and out of Hollywood. At this point, however, the project that is the nearest to fruition is Earl Mac Rauch's next novel in the Buckaroo Banzai saga. This tome, to be published by Pocket Books, has been in the works for what seems like an eternity. On one hand, I find myself almost frustrated at EMR's perfectionism that has led to so many drafts and versions of this compelling tale. On the other hand, I keep reminding myself that this is the exact same tortuous process that, years ago, gave us that original screenplay that both entertained and enlightened the world with Dr. B. Banzai's true story. Keep asking questions, Dan. They'll be answered in due course. In the meantime, I continue to counsel patience. -R
Dear Reno, I just thought you guys would like to know----it looks like the dream of a Space Elevator is closer to becoming a reality!
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031015/ap_on_sc/space_elevator_4 Cheers! -Cait Sidhe
Dear Cait; Our dear friend Rawhide took his share of ribbing for what I certainly thought was a ridiculous notion. His talk of a "space elevator" seemed to come more from a strong cup than a serious mind, Sir. Arthur C. Clarke notwithstanding. Now it appears I must add that apology to my list of things to say to the big cowboy should we ever meet again. -R
Dear Reno, How about confirming an unconfirmed report floating around the 'net? One that alleges the plot of the newly released Once Upon a Time in Mexico was in fact based upon an unpublished exploit of the boss' that took place during one of the Hong Kong Cavalier's south of the border tours? And if so, who told the tale to Robert Rodriguez? - Seth S.
Dear Seth- I can confirm that the film is not based on any incident originating from Institute personnel; and the reason I know this is because the wonderfully talented Rodriguez told us the tale himself during our triptych Spy Kids film festival months ago. On the other hand, it is true I have begun lobbying for Mr. Depp to play my role in future film projects. So far he has not returned my calls. -R
Dear Reno: You may or may not think it's appropriate to post to the Bunkhouse ... but a fine and honorable colleague of Dr. Banzai's has passed on, and I think that passing is worth a nod from the Institute. Bruce Springsteen called Warren Zevon "an idealist wrapped in cynic's clothing." Dr. Banzai is, himself, a pragmatist who wears the cloak of idealism ... fair company. I would have loved to have seen a collaboration between the two ... that would have been a jam session worth cramming myself into a dank, smoky corner of Artie's Artery to attend. My remembrance, for them as cares, can be found at www.halfaft.com. Mr. Zevon's passing leaves Dr. Banzai one of a few; a shining star in a diminished galaxy of souls who offer realistic inspiration, level-headed optimism, discreet yet unrepentant idealism, and the hope of hope itself in the seemingly overpowering reality of too-easily embraced lesser expectations left to those individuals who dream of greater things, for themselves and for this world. -GreenWoman, aka Hollywood
Thank you, Hollywood. For those who are unaware, singer-songwriter Warren Zevon passed away on September 7 after a year-long battle with cancer. The prolific artist's work includes "Poor Pitiful Me," "Werewolves of London," "Excitable Boy," and my personal favorite, "Lawyers, Guns, and Money". Zevon used his last months to compose and record a final album, "The Wind" which was released only weeks before his death. When Andrew Dansby called from Rolling Stone asking for a quote, Buckaroo declined, explaining, "It doesn't matter what I say. In a world of phonies, wannabes, and even fictional musical acts, Warren Zevon was the real thing. There is nothing for me to add." Dansby's article can be found at http://www.rollingstone.com/news/newsarticle.asp?nid=18640&cf=1495. Zevon's family asks that any memorial donations be sent to VH1's Save the Music Foundation at http://www.vh1.com/partners/save_the_music/ -R
Hi, I'm sure you get this letter often so I'll keep it short and to the point. First of all, your site is excellent and I'm delighted to find Banzai fans on the internet, let alone an official website. I believe I may have found an error on your site, though. According to the DVD, the title for Buckaroo's legions of helpers is the "Blue Blazer Regulars," as opposed to, as you have them listed the "Blue Blaze Irregulars." It's an easy mistake to make given how quickly the phrase is spoken the several times it's used in the film, but the subtitles on the DVD leave no doubt as to the actual lines. I hope this information useful. -Michael Delaney, Blue Blazer Regular.
Dear Michael; Your information is useful in that it adds to a discussion that carried long into the New Brunswick night. During the planning phase of the DVD, issues of national and Institute security surfaced quite regularly. The most obvious example is that, as a small measure of personal protection, the actors do not resemble the real life Cavaliers they portray. It was debated as to whether or not we should reveal this information in the "additional materials" portion of the DVD, simply by way of trivia but also partially nullifying its effectiveness as a means of security. (One advocate for including it was docudrama director W.D. Richter who pleaded with me during one very long distance call, claiming he has been derided by fans and professionals alike who know the Boss and still can't adjust to Peter Weller's otherwise stellar portrayal.) But I digress. My feeling was that we should use the incorrect verbiage in the various subtitle tracks as a means of further confounding our enemies. B. Banzai pointed out that the correct usage has already appeared in countless articles, technical journals, travel guides, comic books, and fashion magazines, not to mention my own novelization companion to the docudrama. Buckaroo also reminded me that it was a nod to one of his favorite fictional characters -- echoing the Baker Street Irregulars of Sherlock Holmes. As you've noticed, I ignored his instructions. The result is confusion for our friends perhaps more than our enemies. In short, "Blue Blaze Irregulars" is correct. -R
Hi Reno - Greetings once again from England: the Banzai Institute's SETI team now has a member in the UK and a couple of hundred more work units under its belt. Thanks to Mike and Denise for sorting things out - what a great idea. Nice to see that you and Mrs Johnson are keeping things busy on the web. Long may it continue. Oh, and please apologise to the good Doctor for the mix up, but it appears that VEGA's Space Director, Dave Whittle, got Blur in to do some work on the Beagle 2 lander call signal rather than the Hong Kong Cavaliers as we'd all expected. Something about their legal advisor living next door to one of our former directors, apparently.. Best, Chris (http://www.head1st.demon.co.uk)
Chris: Thanks for joining the SETI team, and welcome to our first member from the UK! And you should know that the Boss is thrilled that Blur's music is traveling to Mars aboard ESA's Beagle 2 lander as part of the Mars Express mission. He asked me to tell you that he is looking forward to hearing that tune being broadcast from the Red Planet in December. -R
Greetings Reno and All, I was fortunate enough in my dutiful scanning of the DARPA-NET to uncover strangely oblique references to a release of certain documents into the wild. I acquired some samples for study and hope to isolate DNA traces of the nefarious HX with which I can surreptitously begin a tracking and location algorithm. On the lighter side, I'm glad that Clyde's endeavors reminded me to update my bookmarks and return to the Bunkhouse. Why shucks--I even signed over my work units to the SETI team! I wonder if they can bounce the Arecibo signal down onto New Jersey just for grins and giggles.... -Happy Anniversary & Happy Trails, Zeke, BBI Q36ESM
Zeke: Welcome to the Banzai Institute SETI team! According to the latest statistics (as of 8/14/03), Banzai Institute team members have thus far contributed some 16.9 years of computer time to the Search for Extraterrestrial Life! During that time, their personal computers have performed number-crunching on over 9500 SETI data units. -R
Dear Reno: Each year that passes brings new events of great import, and lesser, to our lives. Of these milemarkers, some demand great energy and attention, while others seem to merely increase the clutter of insignificant memory. Yet somehow, each year finds me at pause on this date, thinking back to the events of another August 10 ... a persistant and happy memory which I hope shall never fade. All best to everyone at the Institute. Happy anniversary. -Hollywood
Hollywood; Here's to all those hard facts and persistence; to photocopies and fried chicken; to those who can dream it and be it; to those who write the words and to those who have the nerve to read them and answer; to those who are cool, but care. Thanks for the good wishes. -R
Hi Reno Just wanted you to let everyone know that I have donated a rare piece of memorabilia from the Buckaroo Banzai docudrama to be auctioned off, benefiting a non-profit website that is very close to my heart and that I am also sending many other rare documents regarding the movie to a certain film library for those serious about researching it. A one-of-a-kind piece - the original typewritten masters of the film's press kit - will be auctioned off on eBay to help support Hollywood Lost and Found <www.HollywoodLostAndFound.net>, a site dedicated to sharing film history. For more information on this sale, which ends on August 10th (the anniversary of that special docudrama), please visit www.HollywoodLostAndFound.net/banzaiauction. And while you're at the site, I'm sure you'll find the secret of where I'm sending the other rare papers regarding the film. We don't want just anyone finding them, now do we? All the best, Clyde
Dear Clyde: Keep up the good work! -R
Respectful Greetings to Dr. Banzai and your good self Mr. Reno: As the chief archivist and representative to the world for the group known as Ay'esha (She Who Must Be Obeyed) I am gratified to note the opinion of such a distinguished scientist and humanitarian on the subject of the recent "war". Ay'esha has worked for many years behind the scenes to restrict the more hostile natures of men for the betterment of the world with reasonable amounts of success up to the last year or so. We support the free speech rights of Dr. Banzai and also support the rights of people to disagree with him in a polite and intelligent manner. Dr. Banzai has dedicated his life to the betterment of mankind without regard to sociopolitical disagreement and should be admired for "sticking to his guns" in the face of a hostile audience. The Mother of Many and my own superior, Mistress Minx of Ay'esha support the work of the Banzai Institute and wish Dr. Banzai and his staff every blessing of the Goddess. Respectfully, Dr Charles Forbin Chief Archivist Ay'esha http://ayesha.cjb.net
Dear Charles: Please give our regards to Colossus. -R
Reno; I just received the following from an old friend of mine, and thought you might be interested. "I'm reading my new July issue of ELLE - which is a pretty swanky hip fashion magazine. One of their articles is on hair color. On the page for the Editor's comments (pg. 16) her last line is: 'Or, as Buckaroo Banzai would say, wherever you go with that new hair color, there you are.'" I'm not sure if this is an example of Buckaroo Banzai's unusual longevity as a phenomenon of pop culture, or merely an image marketing enhancement ploy on the part of Perfect Tommy. Either way, I thought enquiring minds would like to know. ;-) Hollywood
Dear Hollywood; We all know better than to put such a thing past Tommy. These days, our favorite karma chameleon is sporting a bright red do. Did the article tout the value of henna as a way to make one more Lectroid-like? -R
Dear Reno; Whatever happened to the proposed series detailing the exploits of the boss, and those around him (aka The Hong Kong Cavaliers and The Blue Blaze Irregulars)? "Happiness is A Warm Gun" -Kelly
Dear Kelly; If you're referring to the television series proposed by Polygram and Fox, Earl Mac Rauch, W.D. Richter managed to turn my hodge-podge of notes into a very entertaining pilot script, which is "still in discussion around town" as they evidently say in Hollywood. If you mean the new Buckaroo Banzai novel, that is moving the editorial labyrinth at Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, and Buckaroo promises to let everyone know as soon as we learn when it will hit the streets. -R
Hey Reno, I hadn't heard anything about a deal between Ma Bell and the Institute. Is the use of the name "Go Phone" approved by the Boss? Just curious. By the way, irony can be pretty ironic: I'm currently working for someone else with the same initials as our fearless leader. Tell him that the big guy on campus at Warner Bros says "What's up?" - Clyde
Hey there Clyde! Our legal folks tell us it's best not to discuss the specifics of who gave whom permission to use what, especially since it appears some particular whom may have been drunk after a late-night rendezvous with a guitar groupie/advertising writer when said permissions were shared. Our best to Yacko, Wacko, and Dot. -R
Dear Reno: On behalf of the fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, we'd like to thank everyone at the Banzai Institute for their gracious support in helping make the recent e-Bay auction of the Lost World's OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER prop (non-working) such a success. The OVERTHRUSTER was sold for $405.00 to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which is the charity supported by this year's Second Annual Lost World Convention. (For more convention information, go to http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/tlwcon/.) -Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Supervising Producers, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World
Dear Judith and Garfield: Thank you for letting us be part of your good works. -R
Hello Reno: I have a question to ask and hope you can answer it. Back in January of this year, there was a very wonderful series on ABC called Miracles. This series, for those that have not seen it, was a thought provoking series that brought out the best in everyone that seemed to stumble upon it. Sadly, the PTB at ABC decided that reality based program, those mindless so called real life stories were more worthy than a series that would force the viewer to think, to question and to seek out knowledge. Many of the Miracles fans would not sit back idle-ly and allow this series to go the way of so many other endangered species. We have taken up the cause to fight and have at least all the episodes released some way. My question is, I have pointed several people that are the main hub of this campaign to this site. I was wondering would Dr. Banzai be offended if the Miracles team patterned their means of working toward getting this series picked up or released on DVD after the Institute. They are impressed at the community cohesiveness that is found here. I hope that you understand what I am asking and that you can give me an answer. Thank you so much. -BBI Sundevi. (aka devisun), Houston, Texas
Dear Sundevi: Grassroots community efforts, whether they be of concerned viewers, neighborhood groups, or far-flung Internet families, have been the cornerstone of democracy that has led to much progress on matters great and small. The Boss wishes you the best of luck in yours. -R
Hey Reno! Just wanted to drop you a note to say that The Lost World Convention has put our OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER up for bid on eBay this week. It's a standby prop for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World tv show. We have received certification from Dr. Banzai himself that our OVERTHRUSTER is a non-functioning model of the "real" device! Please pass the info along to any that are interested. Thanks! -Annette Welsh-Shinya, President, The Lost World Convention
Dear Annette: Thanks for the heads-up! The Boss is especially pleased that you are donating all of the proceeds of this auction to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a worthy cause, indeed. (This also means that the entire purchase price, except for shipping, will be tax deductable in the US.) Special note to all potential bidders: The auction closes on Thursday, May 22, 2003. -R
UPDATE 5/24/03: The OVERTHRUSTER auction has been re-listed and can be found at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3328975997. The new listing has no reserve and most importantly, now has the words "Buckaroo Banzai" in the auction title so that Blue Blaze Irregulars can find it more easily. The new listing ends on Saturday, May 31, 2003. -R
Dear Reno, With all the renewed X-Men hullabaloo I got to wondering...what is the Institute's prognosis for mankind's evolvement (accepting, of course, that Perfect Tommy is the ultimate evolution in human genetics)? Are we destined to transcend this crude matter and become luminous beings, should we last that long as a species? Or will we at least achieve some super cool special powers individually? Has Dr. Banzai overseen any theorizing in this area? -Seth S.
Dear Seth; While there has been much theorizing, genetic experts (who prefer to remain anonymous) tell me that human mutations even so far as metallic skin and giant wings are not entirely impossible. However, a more practical application would be one in which a predisposition for cancer could be isolated and removed from the genetic code. And this in turn raises the questions of what damage we might do in the process, or if we should begin engineering DNA "accentuating the positive" instead of only "eliminating the negative." B. Banzai has always said that he is no more a "super hero" than is the city bus driver, the preschool teacher, or the emergency room nurse. He maintains we all have "super cool special powers" if only we tap into them and use them to better the human race. -R
Reno, Princess Red was poking around the website, and she read over Mrs. Johnson's interview where she mentioned Cavaliers, Irregulars, and Apostles. She wanted to know what Apostles were. I explained that it was hard to explain. Can you give it a shot? - Agent 13
Dear Agent 13; As with so much around here, the exact form, duties, and scope of the "Apostle" have never been precisely codified. As a job title, it has grown up around those who choose to be somewhat different than the Cavaliers or Blue Blaze Irregulars; equally involved but less proactive in the hands-on sense than the Irregulars; less musical than the Cavaliers. Similar to the traditional definition, our Apostles see themselves as among the first advocates of a belief system that stems from the ideals we strive to practice here at the Institute. Not so much a religious vocation (since indeed they come from many differing spiritual backgrounds) but a commitment to endeavor toward a moral and ethical goal, and to encourage others to do the same. They also have several sub-radar gospel CDs out on Mean Supper Records. I hope this helps clear up the issue. -R
Reno, Just seeing how much of an influence did BB and the boys have in these: http://www.discover.com/may_03/featoil.html and http://www.changingworldtech.com/home.html Stay true, Brucifer
Dear Brucifer; I'm afraid I for one must admit to absolute ignorance to either of these endeavors. But Mrs. Johnson plans to keep their contact information for next Thanksgiving. -R
Dear Reno; I know this may sound a little childish, but some friends are going to a midnight showing of the Buckaroo Banzai docudrama and I wanted to dress the part. Any idea where I can get some glasses like the ones Buckaroo wears in the film? Thanks. -Arizona Slim
Dear Slim; The Boss says he is honored that you want to emulate him, but we can't offer any suggestions as to finding the glasses. I have heard of some having success at local thrift stores or "retro" shops. One thing to consider is (in the interest of security) those glasses in the film look nothing like the ones Buckaroo wears. No one here can recall Prop Master Erik Nelson mentioning where he found them. However, when I double checked my notes on the film's production, I did come across a clue. I'm not saying for sure (and keeping in the delightful spirit of childishness), but look at this picture of W.D Richter directing Christopher Lloyd. Compare it with the insert of Peter Weller and decide for yourselves. -R
Howdy Reno; Seriously: when are we gonna see the new Buckaroo Banzai novel? This year? Next year? -jplee
Dear JP; I could say, "These things take time," which is true, but it can't be denied the bottleneck is yours truly. The latest draft of Earl Mac Rauch's manuscript is on my desk waiting for my red pen. Though the work he and W.D. Richter have supplied so far has been superb (considering my notes were somewhat scattered, as one might expect, given the circumstances), I'd rather err on the side of accuracy, especially given all the fallacious accounts spread by the popular media in and around Idaho. Seriously: when I know, we'll announce it here first. -R
Dear Reno: Just another question regarding the BB DVD...I can't find a NUON enhanced DVD player anywhere in my area, so I can't access the NUON features on the DVD release of the docudrama. What am I missing out on? - Ken Hitt - Research Division Head - fusionaddict industries - (http://www.fusionaddict.net)
Dear Ken: The Nuon features mainly give viewers the ability to zoom in on several different images to see details of the Jet Car and the Bus. To be honest, we don't have a Nuon-capable DVD player at the Institute, so I've never seen these features in action, but our friends at MGM Home Video assure us that they're a lot of fun. -R
Dear Reno, Am I imagining things or did I recently see an OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER on an episode of the TV series The Lost World? A while back, there was an episode in which a mysterious device appeared as part of a criminal exchange in the backstreets of London. That device bore a striking resemblance to Dr. B. Banzai's famous invention. Do you know anything about this? -BBI Prairie Dog
Dear Prairie Dog: A quick call by Mrs. Johnson to the Australian Gold Coast put her in touch with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, supervising producers for New Line Television's series, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. They told her that the show's art department provided a prop that closely resembled the OVERTHRUSTER for their third season episode, "Legacy." In that episode, the device (it wasn't called an overthruster) was used as payment for a mysterious medallion rumored to control time and space. Both Judith and Garfield were mum when asked how they were able to duplicate the device so accurately, but I somehow suspect that Scooter may have had a hand in this unauthorized technology transfer. We'll keep you posted. -R
(NOTE: LETTERS PRIOR TO 4/9/03 HAVE BEEN MOVED TO THE BUNKHOUSE ARCHIVE.)
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