My favorite attraction at any Disney park is, and always will be, The Country Bear Jamboree. I understand there are those who find it hokey and even lame, but to me it really is a magical attraction and I would take it over many of today’s modern attractions.
You see, to me, real things are always more jaw dropping and awesome than watching computer generated things on a screen. The Escape from Gringotts ride at Universal in Orlando, probably one of the most state of the art attractions currently operating in the world? Didn’t do a thing for me. Why? Because you are looking at a screen the whole time. There’s a little piece of my brain that knows nothing I’m seeing is real, so why should I care?
Now, the Radiator Springs Racers attraction at Disney’s California Adventure is just amazing to me. They build real, life size, animatronic figures of the Cars characters and you can see them. Right there next to you. To me, that is just simply amazing.
And before you think that I’m some sort of Disney fanboy who is just hating on Universal, I’m not. The most recent update to Star Tours at Disneyland, the one that replaced the original movie with new movies where you have to wear 3D glasses and watch a completely computer generated film? Awful, in my opinion. Even with the ‘never the same ride twice’ technology. In the old version of the attraction, you watched a screen, but the stuff you are seeing on the screen is real. Miniature models shot with a camera. Sure there’s visual effects, but you’re seeing real things.
Anyway, back to the bears. I like them because they are real. People built these big, life sized bears. And they move and appear to play instruments. Sure, they aren’t really playing the instruments or singing, but they are real. Not 1’s and 0’s.
I also have a fondness for country music. Old time country music. Blame my Grandma Donny. She used to listen to country music, like the Oak Ridge Boys, and I used to love listening to it with her. So, the Country Bear Jamboree is my favorite and has been since I was a kid.
To that end, I have entered the somewhat crowded world of Disney podcasts by creating my own called the Country Bear Collector Show. A short video podcast where I show off a piece of my Country Bear Collection.
Yes, the show is extremely, oddly specific, but I think that’s what makes it work. Right now there is no website out there devoted specifically to Country Bear Merchandise and I think that might be what helps this show find some traction. Find a need, fill that need.
Below is the first episode. Give it a watch, even if you aren’t a CBJ fan and let me know what you think. New episodes each Friday.
You can subscribe to the Country Bear Collector Show via iTunes or by subscribing to the Saturday Morning Media YouTube Page. Also, if you want to see better pictures of the items featured in each episode, you can do so by visiting www.CBJCollector.com.
I’m currently developing a live show with my good friend John B. deHaas. If it ever happens it’ll be an interactive show for families to enjoy that’s filled with music, improv, comedy and more.
In doing the research for this show I’ve been looking up a lot of clips on YouTube from Walt Disney World’s, now extinct, Adventurer’s Club. If you are unfamiliar, the Adventurer’s Club was a nightclub at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island. It was an intracately themed nightclub that was set in the year 1937. The moment you walked in the door, you were transported to the time of big game hunting and world exploration. The, mulit sotired, building was filled with the usual artifacts and, fake, animal heads, you’d expect and it was also filled with seven or eight actors playing different members of the club. These characters would interact with you and then lead you in to various rooms where there shows including a radio drama broadcast, a telethon and a tall tale telling competition.
I went there for the first time in the early 2000’s and was instantly captivated. Unfortunately, my first trip would be my last as I didn’t get back to Walt Disney World before they closed it down. The loose insanity of the the goings on in that club have stayed with me though and have inspired me greatly. Wen we used to do the old Dr. Floyd Live shows we tried to capture that spirit. Or at least that was my goal. Also, I sing Bessie The Heiffer, a song I first heard at the Adventurer’s Club, in my kids show.
At any rate, the fun thing about the Adventurer’s Club was that there were several songs that rotated through the night. In doing my research for this show I’m working on, I came across the song Don’t Go In The Lion’s Cage Tonight. Below is a video. Please watch.
Hilarious right. Really funny. And while some may not think that it’s 10% family friendly, I think it actually is. I think kids wouldn’t get exactly what was going on with the maracas. Maybe they would. But it is not raunchy by any means.
Anyway, after searching for clips and coming across that one and watching a few different versions, I came across the following one. Now, yes, I know you’ve just watched the song seconds ago. Watch it again. Do not skip to this one, watch the previous one first and then this one. You’ll thank me.
I have watched this at least 5 times today and I have cried with laughter each time.
This is the type of show I’d love to create. A show that parents can bring their kids to and still have a blast. Okay, back to work.