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FRENCH TOAST CRUNCH IS BACK

One of the perks of having a long running retro themed web site, is the fine folks at General Mills will send me free cereal! I got a press release touting the return of this short-lived treat and I never even remembered eating it the first time around. Within a few days, a box arrived in the mail, and I eagerly gave it a try. 

Holy Crap, this is one fine tasting cereal. It's damn near perfect in every way. It LOOKS like French toast, it SMELLS like French toast, and of course, it TASTES like French toast. I was blissed out with every bite and it may be one of the best cereals I've ever had. And to make sure I wasn't just buying in to some sort of drunk free cereal hype, I ate another bowl with a hangover the next day, and it tasted just as great, AND got rid of my hangover!

It's a beautiful looking cereal, too. The color is dead on, and the pieces look like perfect little slices of bread, with even the browner crust on the sides. I'd love to see a Mister Rogers style video visit to the factory to show how they make this stuff.

French Toast Crunch is also one of the most perfectly textured cereals I've encountered in my long life of cereal eating. The surface is just smooth enough to not rip the roof of your mouth up like Cap'n Crunch, but it still stays crunchy. Once it gets wet, it's almost like a real piece of French toast. Whoever designed this needs to with The Nobel Prize for Cereal!

French Toast Crunch has been missing from American store shelves since 2006, but it's back in mid-January. I suggest buying so many boxes of this stuff!

Now if they'd just sell FRUTE BRUTE year round, my life would be complete.

Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com

ATHEIST CHRISTMAS IS AMAZING

I've known Keith Lowell Jensen as a friend and have seen him perform for about 14 years now. He's a thoughtful and smart comedian with a storytelling style has made him one of the most consistently funny comics working today. And I'm not saying this as a friend, but I'd put his writing up there with any of the big guys and girls out there.

I only drop the tenure of our friendship that I've been able to see him grow and improve throughout all of this. Long before I even considered becoming a comedian myself, I lived vicariously through Keith's struggles in this rewarding and often brutal business. I've seen him destroy small coffee shop crowds, and packed mega theaters. Last year I went to an event he headlined at a theater in Arcata, California and there was but 25 people in the place. He sat on a stool, threw his set list away, and just ad-libbed his way through a great one hour set that was apparently made up on the spot. Everyone there felt like they got an HBO special on the cheap.

Keith spent many years marketing himself as "Atheist Comedian: Keith Lowell Jensen" which may have alienated some potential narrow-minded and easily offended fans, but it helped him develop quite a following in that world, making him a favorite guest for events like Skepticon and other Godless circles. But years ago it seemed that he transitioned to simply "Comedian: Keith Lowell Jensen". Not that he dropped his Atheist material, but with albums like "Cats Made of Rabbits" and 2013's hilarious "Elf Orgy" (with a brilliantly funny extended take on Wendy and Richard Pini's "Elf Quest", he marketed to a much wider net and has increased his appeal dramatically.

His new release "Atheist Christmas" is his best yet. The CD/DVD combo is a hilarious piece of work that begins with the conflicted love he has for Christmas without being a Christian and includes great bits about reindeer poop candy and performing at Santa Claus' funeral. I won't spoil any of the material beyond that, but it's smart, hilarious, and rewarding to listen to. If you enjoy thoughtful comedy like George Carlin or Patton Oswalt, you'll love this stuff. I hate to say this, as it's such a loaded topic, but currently horrible controversy aside, I really enjoy Keith's work much like I enjoyed listening to Bill Cosby's wonderful story-telling albums like "Wonderfulness" and "Why Is There Air?".

You can buy Keith's CD/DVD on iTunes, Amazon, and other places. And you should buy it! You should buy a bunch of them to give to every one you know. I'll also be performing with Keith on Dec 2nd at San Francisco's Punch Line and Dec 4th at the Sacramento Punch Line as a part of Keith's Ha Ha Heathens show featuring Keith, Johnny Taylor, Michael Patten, and Matt Lieb. Don't miss it. I hope to see you there.

Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com