X-Entertainment


X-Entertainment

X-Entertainment.com is a website started on April 5, 2000 owned and maintained by Matt Caracappa, a television promo producer for Nickelodeon living in Staten Island. The website features articles focusing mainly on 1980s and early 1990s popular culture nostalgia (although it sometimes strays into decades either side), such as toys, television, and food, done with a humorous take and much love. The site provides a wealth of pictures, movie reviews and a special section where users may download television commercials from the past.

Matt describes the site as "a tribute to anything I feel, or have felt, passionately about in my life." [http://www.x-entertainment.com/about/] Its most frequent articles feature comical takes on toys, movies, cartoons, junk food, and more from the 1980s, although Matt also chronicles his various day trips and weekend excursions. Matt updates his site's blog, started in October 2002, to tide readers over between articles; the blog has become a much more prominent part of the site since 2005.

Articles on X-Entertainment frequently regard:
*He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toys, cartoons, and merchandise
*Star Wars movies and merchandise
*Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys, cartoons, movies and merchandise
*Transformers toys, cartoons and merchandise
*G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero toys, cartoons, and merchandise
*Odd Breakfast cereals
*Obscure Board Games
*Professional wrestling, one of Matt's childhood obsessions
*Reviews of B Movies, such as "Kingdom of the Spiders"
*Matt's various excursions (including to the Staten Island Zoo, upstate New York, Atlantic City, a Toy Fair, and a dilapidated mini-golf park)

In the past, Matt often presented "Quickie" articles. The most memorable of which are:
*Animalia - Matt gives facts about a weirdly fascinating animal (such as the Leafy Sea Dragon, the tiger shark, and the Greater Bilby).
*Cryptozoo - A quick overview of a cryptid, an as-of-yet undiscovered animal (such as the Yeti, and Globsters).

X-Entertainment is commonly known simply as "X-E." Creator Matt has a cult-like following and very dedicated readers and posters on his blog. Today, X-Entertainment remains a very popular site due to its many amusing articles that go beyond the site's original nostalgia-based niche. While new articles on the site have become rare, Matt continues to update his blog.

Articles

Matt went on to create articles on everything from Swanson's "Hungry-Man Breakfast" [http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0744/] (notorious for having 64 grams of fat, and 2,090 milligrams of sodium), counterfeit "Star Wars" toys [http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0430/] , and the infamous knock-off of Steven Spielberg's hit-movie E.T., Nukie [http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0785/] . Other popular articles include Matt's review of Tim Curry's The Worst Witch [http://www.x-entertainment.com/messages/433.html] , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pudding Pies [http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0898/] , and "X-E meets the World's Smallest Woman at the Carnival!" [http://x-entertainment.com/articles/0902/] .

X-E's Halloween Countdown

Since 2003, Matt has held his "Halloween Countdown" from mid-September to October 31 (Halloween). Most articles featured on the Halloween Countdown are in some way related to Halloween, or the Autumn season. Articles range from reviews of Halloween candy [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloweencountdown/2003/october 14/] [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloweencountdown/2003/october 13/] , Halloween-themed episodes of various sitcoms [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloween/2004/october 4/] , and a staple of X-E, classic commercials [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloweencountdown/2003/october 26/] .

For the Halloween Countdown 2004 [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloween/2004/september14/] and 2005 [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloween/2005/] , Matt once again updated almost daily with various reviews, stories, and humorous articles. The 2006 Halloween Countdown [http://www.x-entertainment.com/halloween/2006/september11/] continued the tradition with over thirty additional articles.

Thanksgiving at X-E

X-E's Thanksgiving season usually lasts throughout the last half of November, but most would consider it merely a preamble to the site's Christmas celebration. Still, one of the site's biggest features -- its yearly review of a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from the past -- happens during November and is one of the most looked forward to articles each year.

X-E had its first Thanksgiving-related article in 2000 [http://www.x-entertainment.com/messages/473.html] . The article reviewed various Thanksgiving-related cartoon specials, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 2003, Matt reviewed both the 1984 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade [http://x-entertainment.com/thanksgiving/macyparade/1984/] as well as the 1985 and 1986 versions [http://www.x-entertainment.com/thanksgiving/macyparade/1985-1986/] . These articles were much larger than normal X-E fare and stuffed with multimedia files.

Matt continued the annual tradition by reviewing the 1987 Thanksgiving Parade [http://www.x-entertainment.com/thanksgiving/macyparade/1987/] in 2004, the 1989 parade [http://www.x-entertainment.com/thanksgiving/macyparade/1989/] in 2005, and the 1993 parade [http://x-entertainment.com/thanksgiving/macyparade/1993/] in 2006.

The Macy's Parade reviews offer great insight into pop culture hits and trends of the past. All of the past parade reviews have also included commercials (reviewed and made available for download) that aired during the original broadcasts on Thanksgiving mornings.

X-E's Christmas Season (The Advent Calendar)

On December 2 2002, Matt created a feature [http://x-entertainment.com/xmassy/] using an Playmobil Advent Calendar toy set. Matt updated each day with a review of the toy that he got from the calendar. Unfortunately, Matt never finished 22 December - 25 December. This has become an inside joke among longtime readers.

In 2003, Matt carried on with the tradition set by the previous year and had another countdown until Christmas using Playmobil's Advent Calendar. This year, Matt went a step further: each daily update contained a review of various Christmas-related items, a Christmas related commercial, and a storyline using characters and items from the 2003 Playmobil Advent Calendar set. [http://x-entertainment.com/adventcalendar/2003/]

Matt continued with the Advent Calendar motif for a third year in 2004. This time, he not only created an Advent Calendar story [http://www.x-entertainment.com/adventcalendar/2004/] , but also an "Advert" Calendar" [http://www.x-entertainment.com/advertcalendar/2004/] which featured one classic Christmas commercial and description each day from December 1 to Christmas Day.

In 2005, Matt continued both the "Advent" and the "Advert" Calendars. This latest Advent Calendar was notable for its in-jokes and storytelling of X-E readers' favorite characters.

2007's "Advent-ure" features the mystery of BatRib [http://x-entertainment.com/BatRib/] and DinosaurDracula [http://www.dinosaurdracula.com/] . There is a continuing debate amongst the XE fanbase about what the "mystery" of the December 23rd posting will be [http://christopher.willan.googlepages.com/fellow_advent.htm] .

In addition, X-E features dozens of Christmas-related articles, food reviews, movies, commercials, toys and more. The site's overall design usually changes to match the season.

Slimer's Ecto Cooler

First referenced in an article about merchandise based on the hit movie "Ghostbusters", Slimer's Ecto Cooler would go on to become the subject of many articles on X-E. Ecto Cooler was a juice box beverage created by the Hi-C corporation that was named after the kid-friendly "Ghostbusters" character Slimer, and featured a box adorned with his image. The beverage had a mandarin orange flavor despite its bright green color, and went on to become quite popular with schoolchildren, lasting for years after the "Ghostbusters" sequel and the brand's subsequent fall from popularity. Unfortunately, the beverage stopped being produced in 2001. The first Ecto Cooler-centric article appeared on the blog [http://www.x-entertainment.com/updates/entries/archives/00000184.html] in June 2003, where Matt revealed that Hi-C's "Orange Lavaburst" flavor tastes very much like Ecto Cooler, and went as far as to say that it is the same drink in a different package.

In August of that same year, Matt posted another update [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/entries/archives/00000218.html] on his blog with new information suggesting that Hi-C's "Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen" flavor was the true successor.

The final Ecto Cooler article appeared on August 13 2003. Dubbed "The Ecto Cooler Bible", Matt compared the two flavors and came to the conclusion that "Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen" "is" "Ecto Cooler". (Matt has since posted an update confirming the latest Hi-C flavor with Ecto Cooler's genetic makeup: "Crazy Citrus Cooler.")

"Who Was Photog?"

On May 21 2003, Matt posted a short article [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/entries/archives/00000153.html] on X-E's blog about a boy who won a "Create your own action figure" drawing contest sponsored by Mattel in a The Masters of the Universe magazine. Contestants submitted sketches and descriptions of proposed Masters of the Universe characters, and the winner would receive a $100,000 scholarship, a five-day trip to California, and his or her character would be developed into a He-Man action figure, to be mass-produced and sold across the country. The winner's name was eventually published in the magazine, along with his photograph and a drawing of his proposed action figure, though none of the promised figures were ever made.

The winner was named Nathan Bitner, and his winning character was "Fearless Photog", a heroic monster with a camera for a head and a flash for his shield. From the blog entry:

"Photog's power was said to be the ability to 'focus in' on his enemies before draining their strength. The silhouettes shown on his chestplate are pictures of his fallen foes, proving Photog both a sadist and a pretty skilled photographer."

Matt ended the article as such: "That's the story of Photog. I never said it was going to be long.", a statement which would later prove to be ironic.

While the actual article was rather short, the blog itself continued to grow for years after the article was originally posted. Members of the blog took it upon themselves to find out why the action figure was never produced, some even going as far as attempting to contact the winner of the contest. Members put forth their theories as to why the action figure was never made, some even producing their own out of spare-parts, or with putty or clay. Bitner's life was researched by fans, who found out that he was one of the original programmers for Bungie and worked on the early code for Halo. After being fired from Bungie he battled alcohol and drug addiction and eventually joined the US army.

The blog entry has gone on to amass more than 2,300 replies.

History of X-E Forums

In its early years, Matt Caracappa ran an official forum for the site, simply known as the "X-E Forums". At first a thriving and diverse community, the forums quickly snowballed out of control because of its lack of rules or of any set "theme". This non-standardized format attracted mostly trolls, gimmick posters, and troublemakers from all across the Internet. Many topics ranged from the utterly obscene to simply nonsensical. Though he understood their satirical nature, Matt grew increasingly uncomfortable about the content of the forums, and tried on more than one occasion to revise the rules or contain the mayhem to designated rule-free subforums Fact|date=April 2007.

Matt ultimately deleted the forums, citing an abuse by the forum members of bandwidth limits [http://web.archive.org/web/20021002112216/http://x-entertainment.dragondata.com/vbulletin/] . Users went their separate ways and populated other message boards, such as [http://www.nocarlno.com ¡NoCarlNo!] and [http://www.pirateking.net/phpbb/index.php The Pirate Cave] .

The X-Entertainment Blog

The X-Entertainment blog was originally supported by Greymatter, but was switched to WordPress on August 16, 2006 due to the software causing unintentional bannings of posters. The blog design has a Trapper Keeper theme with stickers relating to common X-E subject matters. According to a March 24, 2003 blog entry, the Trapper Keeper is the exact same design as the one Matt used in second grade, and he purchased the new one from a Thrift Store. During holidays, the stickers change to coordinate with the festivities.

Saturday nights are considered a time of social gathering for all X-E blog posters. Saturdays Matt hosts what is commonly called the SNT or "Saturday Night Thread." Occasionally a topic is provided, but often posters choose their own subject or poll to discuss. Many members discuss events in their personal lives, and can do so without being ostracized. Although there are no formal rules, any negative or unwanted comments are typically deleted by the moderators. In particularly offensive cases, the poster's IP address will be banned from future postings.

The X-Entertainment blog has now become the go to place for new content on the site. Actual articles are posted very rarely, with many months going by without an article being posted. However the blog gets updated anywhere from every day to a few times a month. During the summer months, usually being at the start of July, running through August the blog celebrates the Summer Mega Party, in which summer related blog entries are posted every day.

Giant Ape Juice

A 2001 article about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Ivan Ooze Knuckle Extruder [http://www.x-entertainment.com/messages/546.html] included the phrase "Giant Ape Juice". The reasoning was stated as follows:

"1) If anyone does a Google search for it, X-E will surely be the top result. And if there's anything I want this site to be known for, its our giant ape juice."

"2) I guarantee you that 95% of you totally overlooked the screams of ape juice because the picture of the Knuckle Extruder is just that damn ridiculous. It takes something really stupid to get you to overlook something like giant ape juice - so as you can see, we're well on our way to proving the obvious. Knuckle Extruders are stupid, even when they're less than a dollar. They just won't make you feel as stupid, since you can't buy too many intelligent things at such a low cost. Unless you count that reduced fat cheese. Its a smart food, you know."

Later, when the blog was created in October 2002, "giant ape juice" become a blog catchphrase as posters tried to maintain the top Google Search result [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=50] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=126] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=147] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=152] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=157] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=161] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=425] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=526] [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=535] . Today, posters no longer copy-and-paste the phrase over and over in blog comments, but it still pops up frequently [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/2007/06/28/summer-megaparty-ninja-turtles-pudding-pies-commercial/] . As of September 23, 2008, X-E is the top result for "giant ape juice" on Google [http://www.google.com/search?q=giant+ape+juice] .

Contributers to X-Entertainment.Com

*Matt Caracappa (principal webmaster, also contributes to UGO, Toyfare, and "Box Office" magazine)
*Robert Berry (former writer under the nickname "Liquorhead", currently runs the site "Retrocrush")
*Michael Brandon Stroud (former writer under the nickname "Swandive", currently writes for the site "Progressive Boink" under the nickname "B")
*Brian Jacks (designs many of the special holiday-themed layouts for X-E [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/index.php?p=480] )
*Tummi (provides holiday-themed playlists for the site [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/2007/09/17/x-es-fifth-annual-advent-cal-no/] )

External links

* [http://www.x-entertainment.com X-Entertainment.com]
* [http://x-entertainment.com/updates/ X-Entertainment Blog]


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