Wednesday, October 14, 2009


As you can tell, I consider myself a pop culture afficionado. Some of that has to do with trying to understand why things become popular and what people, as a group, like. Some of it has to do with pure nostalgia. For instance, like many people my age, I like TV shows from the '60s, but mostly because they were on Nick At Nite. I enjoy pop culture stuff from the '90s and the Aughts. But, more than anything else, I love pop culture from the '80s. VH1 did an I Love the '70s, but did anyone actually watch it? They did two I Love the '90s. They did three I Love the '80s.

Growing up in the '80s, three of the driving pop culture factors were pro wrestling (the heyday of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, among others), video games (arcades were still around and then home gaming blew up with the NES), and '80s music. There are a lot of big names remembered from all of these, from Hogan to Madonna, but there are also those who do not get as much credit. Nobody brought these three worlds together like Captain Lou Albano, who passed away today at the age of 76.

Albano was one of the more unique stars of the WWF, a manager who taped rubber bands to his face and used them to keep his beard tight. He appeared in Cyndi Lauper's videos, most famously playing the father in "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". He was Mario in the Super Mario Brothers Super Show. Here is an Albano bit from the WWF cartoon show, the Lauper video, and the intro to the Mario show. RIP, Captain Lou.

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