I decided to put away a sixer of King Cobra to get the ball rolling, and for variety’s sake. It was also for nostalgic purposes as King Cobra was the official beverage of my last band in college and when we played, there was some rule where we all had to have killed a 40 by the end of the fourth song or something. Our greatest ambition was to one day have a tour sponsored by King Cobra. It sure is fun to look back on the times when you had hopes, dreams or anything resembling a will to live. However, older and wiser, I realize King Cobra is kind of a rip off and doesn’t live up to the awesome name, logo or fantastic 80’s advertising campaign.

“Don’t let the smooth taste fool you!” What a fucking slogan. “Don’t be fooled by the fact that our product ostensibly doesn’t taste like an asshole, it will still fuck you up!” But like many an ad slogan, it is fundamentally dishonest. The fact of the matter is that King Cobra does not have a smooth taste. Not smooth at all! And to claim that it does have a smooth taste is on par with the holocaust denial so fervently advocated by Earnst Borgnine and “Airwolf.” The “beverage” was first formulated for use by hunters to approximate the taste and odor of deer urine. Really, that there is any kind of malt liquor competition at all is a curiosity. Everybody knows that the whole point of malt liquor is that it’s the cheap beer with an unusually high alcohol content and nobody cares how it tastes. Nice if you are broke and/or want to pretend that you have anything under control because you only drink “beer.” So with it’s terrible taste and puny 6.0% alcohol content, why does King Cobra still have a seat at the table? You know what is also kind of funny? How it was probably some government do-gooder who decided that the % of alcohol content must be printed clearly on each product. This was certainly meant as a protection for the benefit of the poor, predicated on the belief that the working class, college students and alcoholics would theoretically pick up a cheap beer at the gas station and, after careful examination, say “wait… the alcohol content of this product is actually HIGHER even though it costs LESS? Count me out!” Anyway, let’s move on from “Same Old Malt Liquor Street” to “King Cobra Boulevard,” which is to say let’s get to the actual show.

So the first ever episode of “The A-Team.” This is the show that made a pin-on button of Mr. T pretty much the coolest thing you could wear to my third grade class.

Mr T badge 1 -  The A Team BA Baracus button pin

The B.A. button supplanted even the seemingly invincible, studded leather jacket with zippers all over it, from second grade. This is serious business. But I think the most important thing about The “A-Team” pilot has to do with the fact that it has a different Face.

Quoth Wikipedia:

Tim Dunigan played this role in the pilot episode, but reputedly he was thought to look too young to be a believable Vietnam veteran,[1], and he was much taller than the rest of the cast. He was replaced by [Dirk] Benedict…

If you are older or younger and want a glimpse into the brain of someone raised in an era dominated by pop culture, who reached maturity during the generation of the internet, here are the things that ran through my head when I watched this and realized that there was another Face. Granted, I’m a bit old for the Batman cartoon but I watched a lot of episodes. The internet barely existed, leaving the sexually frustrate male in his early teens to sadly “fixate” to the animated Poison Ivy and the Pink Power Ranger after school. Anyway, here is what it looks like inside of my head.


I’m neither an anti-semite nor a believer in Jewish conspiracies. I admire many Jews, such as… Krusty the Clown, or Schindler. But I have to admit what flashed into that the remnants of the brain of a once housed reasonable intelligence, is that the height factor was bigger than the age factor. Tim Dunigan was born in 1955. He’d have turned 18 in in 1973. How preposterous that he might have been a ‘Nam vet! So Jews do unarguably dominate Hollywood. Not because of some conspiracy of lizard men, but because they earned it. So, is the whole “successful actors are often really short” thing totally unrelated to the fact that Jews are pretty short? I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing. You can’t argue with Hollywood’s success. I’m just throwing the height thing out there. Another Fun Fact is that Dunigan, who wound up a Real Estate agent or something, instead of a rich and famous person, downplayed it all and claimed to agree with the decision and its ridiculous justifications, but he was probably just trying to… save face.

So the pilot is actually a two parter and kind of the classic Western scenario, borrowed partially from, yes really, The Seven Samurai. This gang of Mexican bandits, led by a man who says things like “come, we will talk! You will see that I am a lover of life! A hunter of Rabbits! A Singer of Songs!” plague a small village and shake them down for all of their money and terrorize their women, like so:


So some journalist is investigating all of this for some reason and they capture him. He works for the same paper as that chick Amy and since nobody else can help, she tracks down the A-Team, even though most people seem to regard them as an urban legend. After that, a whole ton of predictable stuff happens and none of it makes any sense. It turns out that the banditos terrorizing this small town are part of what must be a billion dollar business, smuggling crates of marijuana to The States, where it will no doubt lead to countless overdoses and cases of hard core addiction. So why are these guys, with direct ties to the military (WOOPS, I mean “gorillas” because the real Mexican army would never dabble in narcotics trafficking) call attention to themselves by shaking down a farming village for what must literally be a couple thousand dollars a year? Because, um…


When we meet Hannibal, one of the most wanted men in America he is keeping a low profile working in the movie industry. Granted, he is in a big rubber suit playing a sea monster or something, but that’s never really explained. Murdock is semi-faking his stay in the nut house and the guys get him out. I think Face is just a gigolo, everywhere he goes. B.A. is kicking it in the ‘hood and polishing his van while passing on life lessons to black youth, which at least seems like something that could actually happen. When I lived in Thousand Oaks and had just started with roller hockey I was practicing my shot against the garage and this old Canadian guy roller bladed up out of nowhere and spent five minutes or so coaching me and offered a few pointers that turned my slap shot around pretty much immediately. Then he swooshed off into the late afternoon. For all I know he could have been a fugitive wrongly convicted by the… well, Canada doesn’t actually have a military, so maybe the Royal Mounted Police. A member of the Eh-Team. The point being that at least B.A. was keeping a low profile.


So Amy goes through this whole bullshit routine and brings on the A-Team. They go down, uncover the drug ring, blah, blah, blah. At some point they use a crop duster to kill the pot crops. Amy doesn’t have enough money to pay their full fee, but they do the job anyway. B.A. converts an old school bus into a tank or something. It’s just a mess. A big part of this is Face using pure bullshit to con the staff of a high end resort into believing he is a producer looking to make a big Hollywood movie there to the extent that the concierge gets the national minister of culture or whatever to arrange for them to have a military helicopter. Nobody is ever like, “by the way, what studio do you work for because I’d like to call them.” Or, “I know this is only Mexico, but we’re still not going to give you a military helicopter.” The rest of it is really kind of boring and involves tons of Jeeps. The other really noteworthy thing about this episode is that this massive Mexican dude fights B.A. and kicks his ass! I can’t guarantee anything, but I bet that B.A. doesn’t lose a fight for the whole rest of the series. I wonder if that kind, old Canadian man is dead by now.