It's self-indulgent and unnecessary, but to commemorate the first 40 episodes of the '76-Second Travel Show,' I'm doing it anyway: 76-Second Travel Show's Greatest Hits.
PUTTING THE SYSTEM ON TRIAL
Manhattan Bridge's 100th Birthday
I'm still steamed that the city celebrated the centennial of this iconic, overlooked bridge two months ahead of time because, essentially, the weather's better. (Some videomakers didn't mind.) The 76 had other ideas -- going deep into the New Year's Eve snow, and commissioning an original song, to celebrate the bridge ON ITS ACTUAL BIRTHDAY. Because that's just the sort of birthday befitting a bridge like the Manhattan. And yes, we did clean up all that confetti.
BEST SUMMER SMACKDOWN/MULTI-MEDIA MIX
Love for Cold Travel
I've long last track of how many 'unreasonable' days -- or sightings of pants-staining butt sweat on subways -- we've had to endure this summer in New York. All I know is that winter is way underrated as a time to travel (or explore your own home). Media-wise in this ep, we were able to get in hand-drawn signs, telephone calls, a couple interviews and random Bulgarian footage in this one.
Is San Francisco Better than NYC?
By far the most controversial (and viewed -- with over 10,000 clicks), this episode's simple question sent San Franciscans and New Yorkers onto the defense. One recent YouTube commenter lashed out, 'Is this guy for real?' Actually the SF/NY question remains is open-ended, never answered. There really is no 'better' in travel. And the video never claims it.
BEST 13-SECOND REENACTMENT
Chester Arthur's Pants
It didn't do well -- a trifle of exposure compared with some -- but the 13-second reenactment of 'the Shooting of an Ohioan President' remains my personal favorite moment in all 40 episodes (or any aspect of my career). AND, I think, the fun fact that you can order Lebanese sandwiches in Chester Arthur's former bedrooms (and that he had a pants fetish) is worth the price of admission. (No, I'm NOT the presidential assassin; that was handled by John M Whitaker.)
BEST REWORKED BILLY JOEL LYRICS
Billy Joel's Long Island
It willfully defies the 76-second limit by the longest shot imaginable -- it's nearly 7.6 minutes -- but following Billy Joel's lyrics across mid-way Long Island, with a fun group of contest winners including BrooklynNomad, led to meeting some unforgettable characters and meeting Julie Chang of Fox 5 NYC. More importantly, I'll never hear 'Scenes from an Italian Restaurant' quite the same way again.
UN-MADE MOVIE PROXY/OVERUSE OF TELEPHONE
Vikings vs Pirates
Hollywood refuses to ask a key hypothetical question of our past -- who'd win in a fight, Vikings or pirates? -- travel, once again, comes to the rescue with Viking/pirate sites chipping in.
COOLEST THING I'VE DONE
Goes to Sesame Street
I first learned of 'uptown' and 'brownstones' on Sesame Street. Finally I got to visit the source. And to quote Ciccone Youth, it felt like seeing New York for the first time.
BEST FAKE RUSSIAN/SWISS ACCENT
$10 Luge Lessons
Anticipating an mass mockery of luge during the Olympics -- and a few days before the tragic death of one luger in warm-ups -- I went Ponce de Leon on a question NBC's exhaustive Olympic coverage over the decades never bothered to ask: where can you luge? Turns out Michigan rules the day. And, at ten bucks, the best travel deal outside of DC's free museums. So 76 HQ is happy. (Though we're all still waiting an answer regarding Apolo Ono's inexcusable 'soul stripe.')
Is Marco Polo overrated?
In the very first episode, the 76 template was conceptualized/focus-grouped/shot/edited/released in about 25 elapsed minutes, including artwork of the signs. Really don't want to confess how long the Billy Joel one took.