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Archive for July, 2013

Let’s twist again like we did in 2006 with the Pontani Sisters–Angie, Helen and Tara! This fun video with music by Los Straitjackets publicized their Twist Party CD/DVD featuring tunes like “The Mad Scientwist” and “Peppermint Twist” and dance instructions by the go-go-booted Pontanis. The vid was shot on Coney Island Beach and in Astroland, where the sisters and the “Twistin Gorilla” go for a spin on Dante’s Inferno, the Bumper Cars and the Astrotower. Sideshow luminaries Todd Robbins and Dick Zigun play cameo roles.

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September 13, 2012: Video: Coney Island Dancing 2012 by Jim McDonnell

January 30, 2011: Music Video: The Clash Overpowered by Funk in Coney Island

December 16, 2010: Blast from the Past: LFO’s Summer Girls Music Video

November 30, 2010: Video: The Wanted’s Lose My Mind at Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel Park

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The 4th Annual Coney Island Talent Show is tomorrow, July 27, from 3-8PM. It’s too late to register to perform, but spectating is free. The stage is on the Boardwalk between West 10th and West 12th Streets. Here’s what it looked like last year — once again the talent categories are Creative Kids, Song and Dance, and Circus Freaks and Sideshow Geeks! Produced by Jen Gapay of Thirsty Girl Productions and emceed by The World Famous *BOB*, the Coney Island Talent Show is sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island.

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September 13, 2012: Video: Coney Island Dancing 2012 by Jim McDonnell

January 26, 2012: Dance Video: Ringmasters Crew in Coney Island

September 6, 2011: Video: Coney Island Dancing 2011 by Jim McDonnell

December 16, 2010: Blast from the Past: LFO’s Summer Girls Music Video

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Cha Cha’s, “Home of Wild Women and Wise Guys” and “Live Entertainment for the Hole Family” is gone from the new Coney Island, but the video “Coney Island Poker Face” lives on! Shot in September 2010 by historian Charles Denson, the video features Cha Cha’s regular Frankie Oil dancing to Lady Gaga’s hit while his pal Johnny Corona cheers him on.

Try typing “Live Entertainment for the Hole family” and Google will ask — Did you mean: “Live entertainment for the whole family”?

Nope, we meant “Hole Family.” The charmingly idiosyncratic spelling on the sign is visible in Denson’s slow pan of the Boardwalk bar and cafe, which also takes in the floral wreath for Cha Cha’s longtime manager John Thomas, who had just died, and the lettering of the doomed Shoot the Freak next door. Was “The Hole Family” a painter’s typo? An inside joke like the sign’s enigmatic “Don’t Sleep”? It definitely caught people’s attention and became a conversation piece.

“HA HA HA! Classic.”— A Guy Walks into 365 Bars

Who is this “Hole Family” you speak of? –PJ Coleman via flickr

“Where else but Brooklyn would you see a sign that offered ‘Live Entertainment For The Hole family.’ Who’s the Hole family? Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain?” — MemoriesofBrooklyn.blogspot.com

ATZ uncovered clues to the identity of “the Hole Family” a few years ago, but amid the upheaval over Cha Cha’s Boardwalk bar losing its lease in 2011 and the move to Surf Avenue sans the original sign, we never had a chance to write about it. Cha Cha’s officially closed after SuperStorm Sandy.

Whole Darnd Family

Coney Island, The Whole Darnd Family. circa 1910. Bain News Service

“The Hole Family” is related to the Whole Darnd family, who are pictured visiting Coney Island with their monkeys in this vintage photo, which also happens to be part of the mosaic at the top of this blog. The Darnd family is a polite takeoff on the title of Edwin S Porter’s silent screen hit “The Whole Dam Family and the Family Dog” (1905).

According to one of the many comic postcards and lithos featuring the Dam family– Mr. I.B. Dam, Miss U.B Dam and their relatives — they were the most popular and widely known family in the United States on account of their unfortunate last name. “Too much notoriety” was rumored to have killed the Dam Family. The curious thing is that at 2:36, the animated letters spell out The Hole Dam Family before the last letter, the “W,” finally tumbles into place.

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December 28, 2012: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island Videos of 2012

December 8, 2012: Sunday Matinee: Princess Rajah’s Chair Dance (1904)

January 18, 2012: Video of the Day: Climbing Coney Island’s Parachute Jump

August 16, 2011: Video of the Day: “IT Girl” Clara Bow in Coney Island

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