Almost anything painted on velvet attains instant Kitsch status but when it’s the two most iconic figures of all time together on the same velvet stage, well, that’s the koolest kind o’ Kitsch kick possible. I don’t know who would open for who but it’s one koncert I’d kill to kome to, me who rarely sees live music though I guess in this case the live thing wouldn’t be a problem.

This is velvet painting royalty no matter how you kut the kake. I hate people who make everything kute by using the first letter of the word they’re spotlighting the same in every word, in this case Kitsch. Sorry, I can’t kurb my kumpulsion to komply in the kompany of such Kings..


Just in time for the weekend comes this 1950’s plastic drink guide, the must-have bar accessory in any respectable Space Age home. Spin the dial and get recipes to Atomic cocktails like Between The Sheets, Blood & Sand, Gertie’s Garter, Millionaire Numbers 1 & 2 and Widow’s Dream. No tiki bar, rec room or man in gray flannel suit was without one of these back in the day.



Made of real Firestone tire rubber, these ashtrays hit their peak in the 1950’s but have remained a Kitsch accessory staple through the decades. Growing up in Detroit, they were as common in the city as potholes, given out as promotional gifts from every business that had even the remotest connection to cars or anything else mounted on tires.

This one’s a Firestone Steel Radial but there are zillions of different styles and brands of tires as well as glass, plastic and bakelite inserts, branded and not.

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Sammy’s the Kitsch King no matter how you slice the cheese wheel. His shtick is the barometer against which all other nightclub cheese is measured – though the Candy Man’s case is made all the more compelling because of his Kool factor. This bobble head is newish but is a limited edition with no new ones being made. My favorite thing about him is that he sits on top of a speaker in my recording studio and bobs his head in loving rhythm to whatever I write.


I posted this one once before but it’s about hot dogs, it’s Memorial Day and this the best instructional weener video I’ve ever seen. Everything about it – the hand modeling of hot dogs, the abrupt editing, the dialog delivery, plates going out of frame, the product itself, not to mention the use of the American flags – all conspire to make this a klassic Kitsch theatrical event. Don’t miss the dreamy musical montage at the end… and have a glorious dog-filled Memorial Day!

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The perfect Memorial Day weekend snack – Goldfish diving into an ocean of blue food colored onion dip. Even your vegetarian guests will be happy!

No summer party here at Willis Wonderland is without a pool full of these beauties. Here’s one of my guests, the lovely Pamela Segall Adlon, of Californication and the voice of Bobby Hill on King Of The Hill, my favorite animated voice (and series) of all time, enjoying a lovely Sea Foam Goldfish appetizer. Not only is it delicious, I’m sure it helps her voice too!



If only for the polyester bellbottomed poolside fashion shows and the razor blades embedded in Pam Grier’s afro, Friday Foster has attained classic blax- and kitschploitation status. This 1972 Dell comic book version, billed as “Action-packed excitment in the fashionable world of the Jet Set” features assistant photographer Foster gone Shaft in the aptly named timepiece, “The Beautiful People”.


When it began life as a comic strip in The Chicago Tribune and its syndicated papers in 1970 Friday Foster was the first black character lead in a comic book. In 1975, the Friday Foster movie was released.  This is the first issue of the comic book, October, 1972.

See the trailer here

And oh yea, they still make Friday Foster dolls. Say hi to “Far-Out Friday”. 



Almost didn’t buy this because a) it wasn’t vintage and b) it was SO good I thought it would germinate like weeds in shopping malls throughout the country. But that never happened so I still get lots of oohs and ahhs when I sport this piece of practical Kitsch-meets-great-design.  I have these cans I mean bags in neon green, electric blue and shocking pink as you can never have too many and you never know when you or anything else around you might need watering. The spout is especially practical for pen storage.




Here I am with James Brown in my studio in 1984 as we peruse one of my favorite Kitsch books, How To Sing For Money. The Godfather and I used to joke that it should have been called ‘How To Write For Money’ as there were so many ways songwriters got screwed out of royalties and credit, a situation that befell both of us numerous times.

I thought this would be an appropriate Kitsch O’ The Day post in view of my post yesterday on behalf of jilted songwriters everywhere. The book, only the top quarter of which is visible in this photo from Billboard magazine, was published in 1945. Maybe the advice worked back then but it’s irrelevant given the oil slick music industry of the last thirty years.


I was, thank God, Reality TV before Reality TV existed as I filmed almost every significant moment of my life since I owned my first video cam in 1978. Here we are seconds after we read the book, writing an ode to my dog Orbit, a plain brown baked potato who Mr. Brown loved and let sleep on his mink coat whenever he came over.